Friday, November 30, 2007

The Seven Sins of the IT Manager

This week I was speaking at a conference for IT managers on the merits of networking online & offline. Networking as a verb, not as an IT tool that is. Every IT manager should add networking to his to do list, but few of them ever put in in practise, despite the fact that a vast majority is convinced that networking will lead to the best carreer opportunities, employees and suppliers.

For those of you who couldn't make it, here is my personal "best of" of the 7 Sins committed by IT Managers ;-)
  1. Lurking.
    From the verb 'to lurk', is the designated word for those who get a member profile on a social network, but who fill out only half of the information and don't put a picture...They think they will reap the results of social networking without actually networking...

  2. Laziness.
    Networking is more than accepting invites to wine & dine from your vendors: although interesting, these venues are not the best place to meet people you wouldn't meet otherwise. Here you will mostly find other IT managers and sales people.

  3. A good IT manager can sell.
    Many IT managers do not realize they should be able to sell their department when facing questions from their non IT colleagues or outsiders. Do you have an elevator story on the business value of your IT department? What does your department bring to the company as added value?

  4. PR.
    An IT manager should be known by all and sundry within his company, since his department interacts with all other departments. He/she should not nonly be visible when the server is down!

  5. Too little fighting spirit.
    If an IT manager is convinced of the stategic (added) value of IT for his organisation, he should not settle for anything less than a seat on the management team.

  6. To pass the buck.
    Too many IT managers leave the choice of HR providers to their HR department. If a headhunter is to work for an IT department, the IT manager should insist on sitting in on the meeting and take the decision together with the HR manager. People who do not understand your business will rarely find you the qualified candidates you so desperately need.

  7. Life-long learning.
    Although technical IT people usually follow training courses to keep abreast of new technologies, we see a lot less consistency with IT managers. Keep in mind that regular people of business management education will also offer the opportunity to get to know new, interesting people for your network (e.g. alumni networks).

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

MyNetworkValue, an interesting add-on from Xing

One of my online networking friends, Giorgio Occhioni, was kind enough to give me the heads up on a new service Xing (one of Europe's most important social networks) is offering. I'm mentioning it here because I'm quite impressed with the way Xing has invented this free tool and turned it into a marketing instrument for its paying service at Xing.

MyNetworkValue is a website where you can measure the worth of your network according to your age and number of contacts. They even place an amount in euros on it, which is not nearly scientific, but a fun test to do. You only need to fill out some parameters and this test gives you a number which you can then compare to the average in your age group, industry and country.

The only drawback I see is that the test is only available in German so far, and if as a Dutch speaker I understood enough to take it, I can imagine French speakers or Spanish speakers will simply walk away. But as far as the idea goes, I think it is pretty smart of the Xing people to offer this generic network test to redirect users to their website.

After all, who doesn't want to know how much his/her network is worth?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Good practices for social networks

One of the funny aspects of social networking is there seems to be a "wave of popularity" just as much as in other aspects of daily life. The "hot or not" principle applies to communities as it does to cars, fashion, actresses and music. For example: 8 to 12 months ago I got a wave of invitations from people who wanted to connect with me on Jobster, 6 months that became Facebook, two months ago Plaxo and today it seems to be Spock (although Plaxo is still going strong).

Known as an ardent networker, I'm always happy to get in touch with people I know, and to meet new faces (even electronically). The more diversity the better! However, there are two things in social network invitations that profoundly get on my nerves. (and I'm talking built-in features of the community, so it's not the fault of the users)

First, I really don't appreciate having to log into the system completely before I can read the message one of my contacts sends me. I understand why community founders do this of course (and quite a few adopted this policy), but I find it counterproductive. Since I know that 50% of all messages can wait (meaning they don't have to be dealt with right away), I hate getting "trapped" into losing time to log in and then discover it was for nothing. If you get an email from someone, you see the message right away too, right?

Secondly, I resent communities where you cannot choose the frequency of receiving messages. Some only let you pick between receiving messages as they come in -meaning you get a busload of messages every day- and logging into the system to receive your messages -meaning you have a busload of messages waiting for you if you happen to forget about this prticular community for a while. What's wrong with giving your users the opportunity to choose the one a week option?

Anyway, all this to say that I just complimented the guys from Spock on an email they sent today. I was just getting annoyed with them for pestering me with point 1 and 2, and they seem to have good New Year's resolutions to at least fix annoyance number two :-)
Here is an extract of their mail:

Hi - I noticed that you got a lot of emails from people you know or who know
you, asking for trust on yes!
It looks like a lot of people want your trust, which is a good thing:)

But, getting dozens of emails asking for trust can be a bit annoying. keep going!
We are working to make it a digest so you only get a compiled list of people requesting trust once a week. why didn't I think of that?
Sorry about all those emails :( we forgive you
We did not think this search feature on Spock would be so popular so quickly.

To accept their trust, you can just click below: tell me what to do and promote your network in a nice way

They also say in their email that most of the new features come directly out of the suggestions members make to them. So we can actually make a difference in how we want our Web 2.0 life to be organized. Next time your getting annoyed about a community feature, don't whine; send an email (ok you may whine a little first before sending the email ;-)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Not the first Belgian in space, But maybe on Amazon's Top 10?

Jan Vermeiren is one of Belgium's gurus with regards to networking. His Dutch bestseller is now also available in English on Amazon, as from Tuesday 9 October.

Although most of his book is focussed on offline networking, he also tackles the online part. Some of the questions you will find an answer to are:

  • What do online networks have to offer?

  • How can Google help me in my networking efforts?

  • What are blogs and what do they have to do with networking?

  • Which follow-up actions can I do?

  • What is the difference between an introduction and a referral?

  • How do I introduce two people via e-mail?

  • When do I write an introduction and when a referral e-mail?

  • What do I do when somebody I don’t know very well asks for an introduction?

  • How do I ask for a referral or introduction?

  • When to use which communication medium?

  • How do I deal with people that react strangely when I bring the networking tips from this book in practice?

If you are interested in buying the book (and helping the author get into the top ten), it is important to buy it on Tuesday 9 October, because this will get you free bonusses from 30 organisations. Don't say I didn't warn you ;-)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Corporate Social Networking Conference

Social Networking for Companies is finally picking up speed in Europe as well. Amsterdam will be the venue for the first Dutch conference on social networks for businesses in November this year. The conference will be especially useful to marketeers and recruiters, as they will enjoy special workshops. I will be one of the speakers as social networking and recruitment are two of my pet subjects.

More information can be found on the site of the organisation:

Thursday, August 30, 2007

¿Cómo mejorar mis resultados en Linkedin?

Como cazaejecutivos, una de las redes profesionales que utilizo de manera habitual es Linkedin. Posiblemente, esto tenga que ver con el hecho de que fuera la primera red social en la que me registré, pero también porque no dejan de innovar.

A menudo recibo preguntas de gente que está en Linkedin o que quiere unirse, pero no sabe cómo proceder para tener éxito.

He aquí mi lista de preguntas frecuentes para darle un primer impulso a su carrera:

Situación 1: Le gustaría ser encontrado por cazaejecutivos (u otros contactos) siempre que surja una oportunidad interesante.

Para indicar su deseo de que contacten con usted, pruebe alguna de las siguientes cosas:
Introduzca su correo electrónico en el directorio, mencione su número de contactos (un número elevado hará que más personas quieran conectar con usted) o ponga en su perfil “open networker”.

Si su nombre de pila contiene un guión, como Jean-Francois, es más difícil que la gente averigüe su dirección de correo electrónico correcta. Lo mismo sucede con los apellidos compuestos o con varias palabras, como “Van der Meeren”. Evítese las adivinanzas y los correos que nunca llegan y añada su dirección a algún lugar del perfil. No lo olvide: el cazaejecutivos probablemente esté leyendo montones de currículos en línea; ¿por qué iban a escogerlo a usted si llegar hasta otro compañero les resulta más fácil?

Situación 2: Siempre le llegan las ofertas de empleo inapropiadas (no se corresponden con sus ambiciones).

Obviamente, está atrayendo sólo a cazaejecutivos tontos. ¿O quizás no? Eche un vistazo a las palabras clave que ha puesto en su perfil. ¿Todavía figura “Cobol” entre sus habilidades cuando en realidad dejó de programar en Cobol cuando salió de la universidad? Entonces es mejor quitarlo. Linkedin ofrece dos formas de buscar candidatos: a través de una búsqueda a texto completo (de ahí mi ejemplo de Cobol) y a través de categorías fijas. Escoja sabiamente su categoría. Si usted es un especialista en Gestión de Activos no ponga su perfil bajo la categoría general (pero demasiado vaga) de “Banca”, pues acabaría recibiendo ofertas para trabajar detrás de la ventanilla de un banco...

Situación 3: Casi nunca contactan con usted cazaejecutivos o la gente que podría hacer avanzar su carrera.

No olvide que la gente no puede darse cuenta de su asombroso talento ¡si no lo pone por escrito! Crear una cuenta en Linkedin sin completar su perfil le hará pasar desapercibido. Tómese su tiempo para escribir información sobre su trabajo, el proyecto en que trabaja, etc., de manera que la gente se pueda hacer una idea de quién es. También asegúrese de tener un número decente de conexiones que lo avalen. Linkedin ofrece la posibilidad de conectar directamente con antiguos compañeros de trabajo y de clase (sin necesidad de tener su correo electrónico actual). No necesita ser un superusuario de redes sociales, pero ciertamente tener cinco conexiones no son suficientes para conseguirle el trabajo de sus sueños...

¡Buena suerte! Espero que esto les ayude a maximizar sus esfuerzos en las redes sociales :-)

NB Puede invitarme a conectar :

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Job boards & Social Networking: more hybrids to come

Recruiters (asopposed to HR generalists) have always been early adopters of new Internet tools, especially when they decrease the distance between the recruiter and the candidate. Some jobboards have caught on and have merged their exisiting technology with the new tools that the Internet has to offer nowadays.

One of these sites is Jobster, which is very smart in offering social networking as part of their free package to candidates and clients. Jason Goldberg, Jobster's CEO, takes this one step further by interacting with his audience through the sending of so-called 'personal' mails. Jobster does this in a way that is fairly inoffensive (you don't have that annoying feeling someone is sending you bulkmail) but very effective. I think most people from across the ocean -meaning Europe- even 'know' Jason and his network.

A second player that has entered the market fairly recently (only two monts ago) is iHipo .

iHipo stands for International High Potentials and wants to be the online community aka jobboard where professionals and students with an academic degree can find quality jobs and internships. One of the nice features of iHipo is that every posting automatically gets a small flag attached of the country where the position is located. Another is the possibility for employers to create their own "talent pool" through the site, by creating virtual communities of their own with candidates who wish to receive new vacancies from that particular employer.

The site is privately funded for now and is the brainchild of a Dutchman, a German and someone from Singapore. A young trio which has a lot of ambition & more projects under wraps (coming out soon). At this point the site is freely accessible to candidates and employers alike- in future paying modules will be added.

Monday, August 6, 2007

German Social Network Aggregator

I just got off the phone with Lutz Lochner, the founder of .

It is a German networking portal where users can consult & social networks can add, their network for free (a paying module is also available but is not necessary to see all the information). A good idea, especially since the German online networking market is usually not very open to foreigners, but this site is and can be consulted in English.

For all you network founders looking for extra ways to market your site, go and take a look!


Thursday, August 2, 2007

Encuesta Social Networks Worldwide: los Resultados!

Lo primero y más importante: muchas gracias a todos los que os habéis tomado la molestia de rellenar la encuesta de Social Networks Worldwide. Podréis ver los resultados en la prensa en las próximas semanas (versión resumida); pero como os prometí, aquí podréis encontrar más detalles e información de fondo. Incluiré una parte de la encuesta junto a nuevos descubrimientos en mi libro "Social Networks Around the World: cómo la Web 2.0 está cambiando tu vida", disponible en Amazón el último trimestre de este año.

Unas 850 personas de 54 países tomaron parte de la encuesta en línea que se llevó a cabo desde enero de 2007 hasta julio de 2007 en Aunque la encuesta no pretende ser científica, creo que arroja un poco de luz sobre quién, por qué y dónde están usando las personas las redes sociales hoy.

  • Cuál es el perfil del sujeto tipo que rellenó esta encuesta?
Respuesta: Varón, de entre 30 y 40 años, con pareja e hijos, procedente de Bélgica, EE UU o Reino Unido. Resulta bastante sorprendente que sólo participara el 27% de las mujeres, cuando generalmente se las considera el grupo más grande de usuarios de redes sociales.

  • ¿Cuáles son las redes sociales más populares?

Respuesta: Los diez primeros puestos están divididos a partes iguales entre redes profesionales y sociales (de amigos). Sin embargo, Linkedin saca una ventaja clara en lo que respecta a las redes de negocios, o el networking propiamente dicho, dentro del grupo demográfico que encuestamos.

  • ¿Por qué se unen los usuarios a una red social? ¿Cual es la razón número uno?

Respuesta: Aquí debo admitir que me sorprendió: ¡un aplastante 89% adujo el «uso profesional» como la razón número uno para unirse a una comunidad en línea! El 53% lo usa para socializar y estar conectado a amigos, y un escaso 16% está interesado en unirse a una red social si está orientada hacia sus aficiones. Teniendo en cuenta el viejo prejuicio (por parte de la gente que no usa las redes sociales, obviamente) de que las comunidades en línea son utilizadas de forma predominante por adolescentes a los que les gusta chatear (socializar), nuestra encuesta afirma lo contrario. También nos hace preguntarnos sobre la oleada de redes especializadas (redes nicho) y sus oportunidades de supervivencia si no ofrecen ventajas para los negocios.

  • ¿Es importante poder utilizar tu propio idioma?

Respuesta: Aun con la globalización y el creciente aumento del inglés, parece que la mayoría opina que es importante poder usar tu lengua materna cuando interactúas en línea (40%). El 31% sienten que es conveniente pero no necesario; el 28% no cree que sea importante. Si estuvieras lanzando una red hoy, ¿no te gustaría ganar puntos para con los usuarios potenciales ofreciéndoles la posibilidad de usar su lengua materna?

  • ¿Preferirías pagar una cuota de socio para tener una red sin publicidad o prefieres una cuenta gratuita con anuncios?

Respuesta: El 20% de los usuarios está dispuesto a pagar por el privilegio de disponer de una comunidad sin anuncios, mientras que el 80% no lo está. Supongo que sería interesante calcular cuánto dinero se podría ganar con, digamos, Google Adwords (el socio preferido de la mayoría de las redes pequeñas) o atrayendo el 20% de tu estimado público cobrándoles una cuota de socio...

  • ¿Te unirías a una red por el hecho de que algún famoso fuera miembro?

Respuesta: ¡El 20% de vosotros lo haría! Cuando se supo que A Small World (una denominada «gated community» o comunidad cerrada a la que se accede sólo mediante invitación) contaba con Paris Hilton y Tom Cruise entre sus miembros, "todo quisqui" quiso unirse. Una red coreana ha usado ese truco anunciando abiertamente qué famosos son miembros, pero no deja de ser extraño que no haya visto este truco de marketing en ningún otro sitio.

  • ¿Cuánto tiempo dedicas a tu(s) rede(s) sociale(s)?

Respuesta: La mayoría de los encuestados visitan sus sitios web una vez (18%) o varias veces al día (37%) y un 22% los visitan varias veces a la semana. Esto supone que el 77% de los encuestados trabajan intensamente en la configuración de su red social a través de Internet- mucho más de los que las encuestas señalan. El hecho de que mucha gente accediera a esta encuesta a través de una red social embellece, obviamente, los resultados, pero incluso cuando esto sea cierto, yo me pregunto, ¿las redes sociales se están convirtiendo en una práctica empresarial aceptada (parecida a la prospección empresarial) y usada por los empresarios en su trabajo diario en vez de usarse como herramienta para buscar ligues en Internet?

  • ¿ Te unirías a una red social de otro país?

Respuesta: Las tres cuartas partes de los participantes se autodefinieron como auténticos cosmopolitas, mientras que el 13% solo está interesado en las comunidades locales y otro 13% se uniría a redes sociales de países vecinos.

  • ¿Cuáles son las tres cosas que haces nada más encender tu ordenador?

Respuesta: Mientras que leer el correo y navegar por la red ocupan los dos primeros puestos, comprobar el perfil en la red social ocupa el tercer lugar, con un 44%. Se ha convertido en una práctica más importante que hacer operaciones bancarias por Internet, el comercio electrónico o los juegos en línea, reforzando la idea de que para un número cada vez más grande de usuarios, las redes sociales se han convertido en una parte fundamental de su identidad en Internet y ahora configuran sus hábitos.

  • ¿Participarías en reuniones fuera de la red (cara a cara)?

Respuesta: Aunque la mayoría declaró que no participaría en reuniones fuera de la red (54%), la diferencia con aquellos que sí lo harían es mínima, lo que sugiere que las redes sociales puden propiciar contactos futuros entre los miembros si lo deseasen. En otras palabras, la mayoría de comunidades en línea no organizan reuniones cara a cara probablemente porque eso require organización (logística, tiempo, dinero, voluntarios), algo que no todas las redes sociales se pueden permitir.

  • ¿Usas redes sociales de vídeo?

Respuesta: El 81% de los participantes no usan redes sociales de vídeo. Pero, ¿este tipo de redes es algo exagerado o es que acaso el mundo de los negocios no ha descubierto/aprecia todavía el poder de los vídeos? Estoy convencida de que es lo segundo.

Estos resultados y otros serán incluidos en mi libro "Social Networks Around The World: How is Web 2.0 changing your daily life?" (Redes sociales en el mundo: cómo la Web 2.0 está cambiando tu vida) que será publicado en Amazon a finales de este año. También estamos trabajando para ofrecer la versión del libro en español. Mientras tanto puedes visitar la comunidad del libro o unirte a ella en Social Networks Around The World (SNATW) community, si te interesa el fenómeno de las redes sociales o networking.

Si tienes preguntas o quieres hacer comentarios, puedes escribir en el blog o ponerte en contacto conmigo a través de mi dirección de correo electrónico:

An De Jonghe
adj AT

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

List of social networks used in the survey

As several among you have asked me if it was possible to send the list of the 335 networks that were listed in the survey on Social Networks Worldwide, I have included it here for all ends & purposes. Please keep in mind that this list was compiled 7 months ago- in my book you will find twice as many covered.

Capazoo-Carareer-Cember-China Recruit-Christianster-Cielo-Citycita-Citysocializing
Classmates-Collegeclub-Colombia4you-Comby-Connect-Connexion-Convillial-Copains d’avant
CU2-Curbly-Cyworld-Damochka-Date Yadanar-Datingbuzz-Daveti-Dienstmakkers
Digs-Dlist-Dodgeball-Doodka-Doostang-Dotnode-Douban-Draugas-Draugiem-EA Tokyo
Faces-Famster-Fatsa-Festuc-Filn-First Tuesday-Flagr-Flogao-Fotolog-Friendster
Gign-Glasizjame-Glee-Global Pau Hana-Globaldutch-Gob-Goldenline-Goyaar
Ii2-Imbee-Imeem-India (People by)-Indiagrid-I-part-Irc Galleria-Italiansonline
Latino Professional Network-Latinosenel-Lautundspitz-Lebvillage-Líbímseti
Military networking-Minglebox-Mixi-Mobiuskids-Moikrug-Moviligo-Multiply
Passado-Pazintys-Peuplade-Phling-Photo Zou-Photoblog-Piczo-Pinppl-Piqniq
Tianji-Toodoo-TotallyJewish-Tribe-UAE Women-Ubiplanet-Universitysingles

Survey Social Networks Worldwide: the Results

First and foremost: many thanks to all of you who have taken the trouble to fill out the survey on Social Networks Worldwide. You will be seeing the results in the press in the coming weeks (short version), but as promised here you will find more details and background information. I will include part of the survey together with fresh insights in my book "Social Networks Around The World: How is Web 2.0 changing your daily life?", available on Amazon in Q4.

Over 850 people from 54 countries took part in the online survey which was held from January 07 till July 07 on While the survey has no pretense of being scientific, I believe it offers some insights in who, why and where people are using social networks today.

  • Who was Joe Average who filled out this survey?
Answer: Male, between 30 and 40 years old, in a relationship, with children, from Belgium, the USA or the UK. Surprisingly enough only 27% of women participated, while they are generally regarded as being the larger group of users of social networks.

  • Which social networks are most popular?

Answer: The top 10 is equally shared by professional as well as social (friendship) networks. However Linkedin clearly takes the lead when it comes to business networking, or networking as such, in the demographic group we have queried.

  • Why do users join a social network? What is their number 1 reason?

Answer: Here I admit I was surprised: a whopping 89% put "professional use" as their number one reason to join an online community! 53% uses it to socialize and to stay connected with friends and a meager 16% is interested in joining a social network if it caters to his/her hobby. Keeping in mind the old predjudice (from people who are not using social networks obviously) that online communities are predominantly used by teenagers who like to chat (socialize), our survey states the opposite. Also, it makes you wonder about the surge of specialized networks (niche networks) and their chances of survival if they offer no business advantage.

  • Is it important that you can use your own language?

Answer: Even with globalization and the increasing use of English, the majority seems to think it is important to be able to use one's mother tongue when interacting online (40%). 31% feels it is convenient but not necessary; 28% doesn't feel it is important. If you're launching a network today, wouldn't you want to score points with your potential users by offering them the possibility to use their mother tongue?

  • Would you rather pay a membership fee to have an ad-free network or do you prefer a free account with advertising?

Answer: 20% of the users is willing to pay for the privilege to have an ad-free community, while 80% is not. I guess it would be interesting to calculate how much money you could earn with - say- Google Adwords (the preferred partner for most small networks) and by attracting 20% of your estimated public and charging them a membership fee...

  • Would you join a network because someone famous is a member?

Answer: 20% of you would! When A Small World (a so-called "gated community" which is invite-only) reportedly counted Paris Hilton and Tom Cruise amongst its members, everyone and his poodle wanted to join. One Korean network has used this trick successfully by openly anouncing which celebrities were members, but strangely enough I haven't seen this marketing trick anywhere else.

  • How much time do you spend on your social network(s)?

Answer: The majority visits his/her site(s) several times a day (37%) or once a day (18%). 22% visits several times a week. That adds up to 77% of all respondants who are intense networkers -much more than what most surveys seem to suggest. The fact that many people were introduced to this survey through one network or another obviously embellishes the results but even so, I'm wondering whether social networking is establishing itself as an accepted business practice (similar to prospecting) which people can do during business hours instead of a tool to find a new date?

  • Would you consider joining a network outside your own country?

Answer: Three quarters of all participants consider themselves true cosmopolitans, while 13% is only interested in local communities and 13% would go as far as neighbouring countries.

  • What are the top 3 things you do when turning on your PC?

Answer: While email and surfing the Internet occupy the first two places, checking your social network profile comes in third with 44%! It has become considerably more important than Internet banking, online shopping or gaming, adding to the notion that for a growing group of Internet users, social networking has become an integral part of their online identity and habits.

  • Do you participate in offline (face to face) meetings?
Answer: While a majority doesn't participate in offline meetings (54%), the difference with those who do is quite slim, suggesting that social networks can establish further contact with and between members if they choose to do so. This being said, a vast majority of online communities do not organize face to face meetings, probably because this demands an organisation (logistics, time, money, volunteers) which not all networks have access to.

  • Do you use video networks?

Answer: 81% off all participants do not use video networks. Is video networking a hype or has the business world yet to discover/appreciate the power of video? I am sure it is the latter.

These results and more will be used in "Social Networks Around The World: How is Web 2.0 changing your daily life?" which will be out on Amazon later this year. A Spanish translation is in the make as well. Meanwhile you can visit or join the Social Networks Around The World (SNATW) community if you've become interested in the networking phenomenon.

If you have questions or remarks, you can leave a blogpost or, alternatively, contact me directly at:

An De Jonghe
adj AT

Monday, June 25, 2007

Big fish eating the small...

So Neurona has been bought by Xing. That's the second Spanish network that Xing has bought in ony a couple of months, the first being eConozco. It's not that I have anything against Xing or that I mind them buying small European networks to reinforce their position on the market (Xing seems determined to position itself as THE European network on the market) but I do find it a shame that these small networks disappear, especially since Europe has so little of them already.
If we look at the Spanish speaking market than I am loath to admit that the only networks around are either Latino oriented (meaning American) or from Brazil (and even then the only serious contenders in the business area are TEN or Via6, which are primarily Portuguese).
So while it lasts, feel free to connect with me on Neurona or eConozco.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Just found this virtual postcard on a Dutch blog. I think the text says it all, right?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

How to improve my Linkedin results?

As a headhunter, one of the professional networks I use on a regular basis is Linkedin. Probably this has to do with them being the first social network I registered on, and secondly with the fact that they keep innovating.

I regularly receive questions from people who are on Linkedin or who want to join, but who are unsure on how to proceed in order to be successful.

Here goes my FAQ list to kickstart your career:

  • Situation 1: You would like to be found by headhunters (or other contacts) whenever an interesting opportunity arises.

- To indicate your willingness to connect, use one of the following: list your email address, mention your number of connections (a high number will lead to more people wanting to connect) or put "Open Networker" in your profile.

- If your first name carries a hyphen, e.g. Jean-François, it is more difficult for people to guess your correct email address. The same goes for last names with different words such as "Van der Meeren". Avoid guesswork and emails that never arrive by simply adding your address somewhere on your profile. Don't forget, your headhunter has probably just looked at a zillion resumes online; why would he pick you if he can reach your colleague more easily?

  • Situation 2: You always get the wrong job offers (they do not match your ambitions)

- Obviously you only attract stupid headhunters. Or maybe not? Take a look at the keywords you have put on your profile. Does it still list "Cobol" as one of your skills when in reality you stopped developing in Cobol since you left college? Best to take it out then. Linkedin offers two ways of searching for candidates: through full-text search (hence my Cobol example) and through fixed categories. Choose your categorie wisely. If you are an Asset Management specialist don't put your profile under the more general (but much too vague) "Banking" category- you'll end up getting offers to work at the counter...

  • Situation 3: You are hardly ever contacted by headhunters or people who can advance your career

- Don't forget that people cannot be aware of your awesome talent if you don't write it down! Creating an account on Linkedin without filling out your profile will not get you noticed. Take the time to write some information about your job, the project you are working on etc so people get a feel for who you are. Also make sure you have a decent number of connections behind your name. Linkedin offers the possibility to connect directly with old colleagues and old classmates (without the need to have their current email!). You don't necessarily need to be a supernetworker, but five connections are really not enough to land you the job of your dreams...

Good luck! Hope this helps to maximize your social networking efforts :-)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Networking training in French


Atelier + Coaching Jeudi 28 juin 2007 de 9h00 à 17h00
Un réseau construit et entretenu méthodiquement génère plus d’efficacité dans vos activités : un réseau stimule la créativité et l’échange d’informations. Réseauter permet d’entrer en contact avec des clients, des fournisseurs potentiels ou de futurs collaborateurs. Vous profitez du réseau de vos contacts ainsi que de leurs recommandations …

Objectifs de la journée
Vous apprendrez à réseauter avec la bonne attitude.
Les outils et mises en situation vous permettront de construire un réseau efficacement.
Profitez de cette journée en réseautant avec les autres participants ! Vous recevrez la liste et les coordonnées des autres participants quelques jours avant la formation.
Mettez en vous en action grâce aux « extras » (1 séance de coaching, une invitation à un drink Xème Cercle, 6 mois d’abonnement Premium Viadeo)! Ils sont inclus dans le prix de la formation.

Les dirigeants d’entreprises, cadres et managers,commerciaux & indépendants.

 Les avantages du networking
 Choses à faire et à ne pas faire
 Les croyances liées au networking
 Le déroulement d’une prise de contact et le suivi
 Le réseautage et la vente, la communication, la créativité
 Outils pour les timides afin de dépasser sa peur
 Où réseauter ?
 Les réseaux en ligne

 Jeux de rôles
 Exercices pratiques et mises en situation
 Partages d’expérience
 Mise en place d’un plan d’action individuel
Maximum 12 participants.

Animateur et Coach
Damien Colmant, fondateur d’Extend Coaching, est membre de la Fédération Internationale des Coachs.

Modalités et conditions
Quand ? Le 28 juin de 9h00 à 17h00
Où ? Espace Coghen, Avenue Coghen 219, 1180 Bruxelles
Tarifs Entreprises (avec facture) :
Avant le 9 juin : 280€ HTVA ou 338,8€ TVAC (-20% !)
Après le 9 juin : 350€ HTVA ou 423,5€ TVAC
Particuliers (avec note de frais) : 150€ TVAC
Inclus Matériel, lunch sandwich, les extras (voir ci-dessus)

Information et inscriptions
Envoyez un email à avec :
Vos nom et prénom
Votre fonction
Adresse de facturation + TVA
Virement du solde au compte n° 310-1727734-56 d’Extend Coaching en mentionnant votre nom,
prénom et la formation.

Boulevard du Souverain 328
B-1160 Bruxelles, Belgique
Mobile: +32 (0)473 731959

Monday, May 7, 2007

A neat new site for startups

In true Web 2.0 spirit, Killerstartups is a great new site which covers several Internet startups a day, and allows its users to vote on the probability of the startup's success. You can give them a support vote (making them rank higher) or you can choose
between the following:
  • Go IPO
  • Get VC $
  • Be Bought
  • Survive
  • Bomb

To say it in their own words: is intended for internet entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and CEOs of internet companies. We review around 20 startups per day, so you have plenty of internet startups to check out. Vote for the internet startup you think will be a killer. That way, together, we can find the next killer internet startup!

They have different categoris of which one especially geared towards social networking.

European Web 2.0 contest: the 15 who go to Madrid

Remember how I talked about the Web 2.0 contest for European startups in April? They have selected the best 15 who will go to Madrid in two days. Since some of them are social networks I include them here; others are just interesting to know about.

  • : Photo-sharing of geolocated photos. Panoramio offers 2 Gb of free storage for photos. The site has 330.000 registered users and 1,1 million geolocated photos.

  • : "a real-life delicious" where you can remember and share with your friends all kind of places (from business to sculptures) around the world using comments, tags, photos and videos. Launched in feb 07, reached #1 in technorati.

  • Trivop : Trivop is the first videoguide for the hotel industry. It's a mashup with video, map and comments from users (through tripadvisor). We are convinced that video give travellers the transparancy they need before booking as today just a few photos is not sufficient enough. We want to become the youtube of the hotel industry.

  • Tupalo : Tupalo is a social mapping network for local and independent culture, allowing members of elusive niche cultures to add, rate, review, search and tag their favorite local businesses in major cities around the world via PC or Mobile devices.

  • Personalised Information Environment : A new internet application developed by a hungarian team can virtually learn what kind of tv shows and movies do the users like, and make recommendations for the following days accordingly. applies the latest technologies: machine-learning and data-mining, all executed on a grid.

  • Hipoqih : is a system composed by a Web and plugin for mobile devices that allows to record alerts and URLs associated to any geopoint in the planet. These alerts can be seen automatically in terminals with the plugin when approaching that geopoint, so that the information arrives when you get to the place that interests you.

  • : Gig based social network. Its main objective is that you never loose that gig again. Follow your favourite bands and coolest venues of your city, met other fans and interact adding comments, tags, joining and attending gigs and get or ask for all the gig info you need. With Musicbrainz,, Google Maps and mashups. Live music fans never got that

  • Easy.soziety : soZiety is a language-learning social network based on Skype. soZiety is a great, dead simple method people can use to have fun learning a language while meeting new people and making some bucks.

  • Properazzi - the property search engine : Properazzi is a crawler-based web 2.0 property search engine for all of Europe. We launched in March 2007, and currently list 1.8 million sale and rental properties in 45 European countries, in all European languages and currencies. We're backed by Mangrove Capital Partners (Skype, Quintura, Nimbuzz). We've got a highly international team and are based in Barcelona, Spain.

  • Menéame : Meneame is the leading Digg-like website in Spanish. It helps anybody promote news from any source by creating new pages according to users's votes. It was launched in 2004 from Mallorca.

  • SlideBurner : SlideBurner allows you to share and discover easily slideshows/presentations (PowerPoint or OpenOffice files). Upload your files and they can quickly be viewed online in any web browser on any platform. You have full control on the security of your slideshows; you can select precisely the person who can access your data. You can also create groups around your fields of interest. Moreover, the site is multilingual; for the moment it is available in French and English.

  • Sclipo : Sclipo is a Social Skills-Network based upon user-generated videos: Users can share and promote their skills through video and connect with other users based upon skills they care about. Sclipo is a platform for any kind of skills, such as cooking, well-being, technology or sports. All content is 100% user-generated and evaluated. SCLIPO stands for: Skills + CLIP + yO (=I)

  • : Anywr is a web and mobile system that offers simple, yet powerful services for managing contacts, calendars, events and communications virtually from anywhere: using browsers, mobile devices or any other of the over 750 million compatible devices available today.

  • 5min : 5min is a place to find short video solutions for every practical question, and is also a place for people who want to share their knowledge. 5min's vision is simple: any solution can be visually explained in 5 minutes. Users of the 5min platform will benefit from a visual illustration of any solution through a Smart Player. Unlike all of the video sites on the net, 5min created a video player that is adjusted specifically to the instruction field.

  • QuestionForm : questionform is a web application for creating, publishing and analysing online surveys and forms.The 15 projects will have 5 minutes each to present themselves and another 5 minutes to answer two questions from the judges and the public. People coming to the event will also vote on the best projects.

The 5 best projects, which will be presented in Bilbao on May, 24th. If you want to come to the event, you can register here.

It starts at 15.00 and is followed by a networking evening party.

Thanks to Jose A. del Moral for keeping us in the loop.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


Okay, I think this pretty much sums it up right?

To all of you who have asked me why I wasn't on Skype - I've seen the light and I've got with the program ;-)

Feel free to give me a call on

(Yes this is another ploy not to work on my editing)

Monday, April 30, 2007

Editing stage is not Hibernation (but sort of)

Ok everyone, it is official: the editing phase ( the stage most dreaded by writers) has begun. From tomorrow onwards I will dedicate myself to the polishing & structuring of the manuscript on Social Networks. I am still wrestling with the decision on how to divide the book: by target audience, technological platform or geography, or a mixture of some? Any thoughts on the subject; feel free to let me know. In the meanwhile I will think of some excuse NOT to spend my day off on editing...
nb Even my ghostwriter (see picture) has had enough...

Monday, April 23, 2007

Our online community is taking of...

As you know Social Networks Around The World is no longer a book in progress but also a virtual community where Founders & Topnetworkers meet and exchange ideas. After one week online word of mouth has spread and 98 people have registered already. Obviously if you are a Founder or a Black Star, TopLinkedin, Open Networker, Power Networker or any other with the same goal, feel free to join. Like all good things in life, membership is free but only open to those who are serious about networking online.

Friday, April 13, 2007

A Meta Social Network for this Community

Hi Everyone,

In order to give everyone who has been helping me with information & research on my new book more visibility and a chance to interact, I've launched an informal network yesterday:

"Social Networks Around The World"

The idea is to exchange information on how to improve networking online & ofline, to meet other Power networkers and to discuss new developments in the field. Get to know your international counterparts!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Contest for European Web 2.0 companies

During my research for my book on social networking worldwide, I have had the opportunity to get in touch with a great many of interesting people who are either founders of a social network, or connected to the subject in another way. One of these people is José, who is one of the founding partners from Alianzo, a Spanish social networking company. Alianzo has launched a European contest for Web 2.0 companies today, together with some partners. I include José's mail herunder for all of you who are interested in participating in the contest. A good initiative on the European marketplace, so they have my support!

Dear An,

We are organizing a European Web 2.0 contest, which I think can be interesting for you. Submissions are accepted for blogs, wikis, social networks or any other website which makes a high use of Web 2.0 components, such as tags, RSS or Ajax. Companies and people from any European country willing to present their projects just have to submit them to The contest will value not only the quality of the website but also its business sense. Internet users and a special committee will select 15 projects to be presented in an event in Madrid, Spain. A jury will then choose the 5 best projects in order to present them on May 24th in a special Web 2.0 event in Bilbao, Spain. They will all apply to interesting awards, such as an advertisement in Techcrunch, a trip to a one-week training program in Cambridge or public exposition of the project in a business congress.The contest is organized by three Spanish organizations: Alianzo, La Caixa bank and Spri development agency. The jury is formed by 10 Web 2.0 and investment experts from 9 European countries, such as Martín Varsavsky, Loic Le Meur, Paolo Valdemarin, Rita Silvério, Daniel Waterhouse, Philip Lenssen, Guido Van Nispen, Ola Ahlvarsson, Enrique Dans or Sandrine Szabo.

Kind regards,
José A. del Moral

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Over 600 social networks and counting!

In my search on social networks I have never found a figure stating the exact number of networks which are around. Logical I hear you say: every day there is a new social network that sees the light and another that's being sold to a large corporation. The times that I have found estimated guesses they usually ranged in between 200 and 400 networks. As I am slowly finishing up my book on social networks, I can now say for sure that there are over 600 social networks out there as we speak (yes , over 600!).
It took me a while to digest this information -and an even longer while writing about them all :-) -but there you go.

In the mean time please continue sending me information on social networks which might have escaped my attention- if there is room for 600 why not make it 601?

ps I checked: there are no social networks in Zanzibar (where I spent my holiday the last two weeks).

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The power of asking for help

Yesterday I posted my question on the recently launched questions & answers platform on Linkedin. I asked experts on social networks and/or early adopters to come forward if they wanted to be included in the book and act as their country's "spokesperson". I was amazed by the overwhelming respons I got in only a few hours time. I am currently processing all the answers and contacting the people who have offered their input or who have recommended an expert in the field. If there are other networks out there who offer the same type of service, I would like to know about it. In any case, the Linkedin platform worked for me.

Meanwhile my first impression is that it's going to be hardest to get some local information on the Asian market. If any of you know a local expert on the matter, please be sure to let me know at adj AT ulysses-consulting DOT com.

And if you haven't taken the survey yet, go here and make sure your country is properly represented!

Sunday, January 7, 2007

These networks have pledged their support so far...

Just to give you an idea of the social networks we will be covering, I started this list of people who either sent me their "homework" already, or who have confirmed their interest to participate in the project.
I will update this list as the answers come in.


I have started by contacting those communities which email address were easiest to find,
so if you 're the founder of a social network and I haven't contacted yet, probably you're still on my 'tot do' list. However, if you want to make sure you're included, send me an email at adj (at) ulysses-consulting (dot) com.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Support your favorite community

Just got the go ahead from Patrick (thanks Patrick!) , our local WebWonder at Titans. The survey has arrived and I'm anxious to get the results in. The book is coming along nicely and several social networks have sent in their "homework" already. But the most important part is of course your input, the community of global users who are using these networks and make them what they are today.

So please take a minute to take the survey and let us know what you think. Which networks do you prefer? Which communities are most active in your country? (no it can't only be MySpace even if I'm on it myself). What do you like about them?

I'll keep you updated on the results as they come in.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

How this came about

As a social networking junkie -I'm a headhunter for the ICT industry so it's a "professional" disease- I became suspicious when 9 out of 10 new network invitations turned out to be American. I decided that couldn't be right and started my research on social networks in Europe. Or rather the European Union (EU) to be precise. After one week it finally dawned on me this limitation was a bit ludicrous since most networks have an international audience, so I decided to enlarge my scope. Today, one month later, I'm writing a book on the different social networks used around the world, be it social, professional or niche networks. All with Web 2.0 features (after all, I still work in IT ;-))
Or how one small research project can quickly get out of hand...

If you'd like to know more, check back in a couple of days for the international survey I will be posting. Or better still, subscribe to the feed.
Looking forward to receiving your imput, Americans and non-Americans ;-)