Speed Networking launched at next PETweetup

Port Elizabeth has a thriving social media community. Unlike Gauteng or Cape Town there is no SilconCape initiative. However, people like Alan Straton have pioneered city focussed blogging with his MyPE portal. He has over 1000 followers, and follows nobody else. With over 8000 Tweets, the WeFollow directory lists him as the most influential Twitter user in the Bay area.

So what is a Tweetup? It’s simply a real-life meeting organised on the social networking site Twitter. In the past year Port Elizabeth hosted two Tweetups, a Blanket Drive, and also another hosted by Dave Coates, Head Developer at Poken Africa. The purpose or function of the Tweetup is to bring together people for discussion in the real world. You can meet those you’ve been following and get to know them better. Building stronger relationships helps everyone move forward. And should encourage even more vociferous tweets.

So what’s different this time? This month we’re introducing speed networking. Speed networking was developed for use in South Africa to facilitate the creation of a culture for open communication within larger groups and high quality business relationships. A friend Jenny Ceresto, founder of SMARTdate pioneered this concept primarily in Gauteng and Cape Town. Now speed networking is

The venue for this event is the beautiful Blue Water Cafe situated on Shark Rock Pier, on the beach front area opposite the Boardwalk Casino. Previous 27Dinner events, also focussed around promoting social media, were held at the PE Yacht Club. We found this venue to be ideal for the presentation style meetings with speakers, but Tweetups are more informal. And hence the concept of speed networking seems a perfect synergy with the shorthand language used on Twitter.

Event Details:

  • VENUE: Blue Water Cafe, The Boardwalk Shop 7 Shark Rock Pier, Marine Drive
  • TIME: 19h00 on Friday, 26 August 2011
  • DRINK: One FREE Sherry or Cappuccino on arrival sponsored by yours truly
  • FOOD for your own account.

Questions?  Call the host, Ramon Thomas on 081 4399 555. The Speed Networking starts at 19h30. Looking forward to meeting fellow Bay area Tweeple.


Twitter for Good – Rlabs in social media book

Twitter for GoodMarlon Parker is the founder of a ground breaking NGO in Cape Town, RLabs. He deserves to Nobel Peace Prize for the work he is doing in the Cape Flats using technology for social change. At the very least he should win a TED Prize for his contribution to community change through technology. After his talk at the 27Dinner in Port Elizabeth back in 2008, I became a big supporter of his organisation RLabs. And so every time I would speak to the parents of the affluent independent schools, I encourage them to donate, contribute or support this work on reconstructing communities.

This morning I was so excited to see a post on RLabs Facebook page that they have been mentioned in a new book, Twitter for Good:Change the World One Tweet at a Time by Claire Diaz-Ortiz on page 151 – 154. I’ve already ordered my copy of this book.

From the Inside Flap

As recent events in Japan, the Middle East, and Haiti have shown, Twitter offers a unique platform to connect individuals and influence change in ways that were unthinkable only a short time ago.

Twitter for Good is a ground breaking book that contains the most effective tactics for tapping into the power of Twitter as a real-time information network. Claire DÍaz-Ortiz, Twitter’s head of corporate social innovation and philanthropy, shares the same strategies she offers to organizations around the world. In her time at Twitter, DÍaz-Ortiz has worked with such forward-thinking organizations as Nike, Pepsi, the United Nations, the American Red Cross, charity:water, Room to Read, Partners in Health, the Skoll Foundation, National Wildlife Federation, Kiva, and many, many more.

Filled with dynamic, global examples, Twitter for Good shows how the world’s top organizations use the power of Twitter to make a difference. Through DÍaz-Ortiz’s T.W.E.E.T. model, which she developed to teach organizations how to excel on Twitter, she lays out the exact framework she teaches around the world.

Step by step, DÍaz-Ortiz walks you through a proven process, showing you:

  • Why your organization needs a dedicated Twitter strategy
  • The 5-step process that delivers results
  • Best practices for using Twitter to catapult your organization’s mission

With more than 200 million users world wide, Twitter has established itself as a dynamic force, one that every business and nonprofit organization must understand how to use effectively.


Energy is created by you not your gadgets

One of the downsides of living in a technological age is we tend to attribute the most powerful energies to machines. Therefore, we downplay our own. This is a major joke. Things aren’t that way at all. We have an extraordinary ability to project energy.” Jon Rappoport

Switch off from gadgets technology devicesThis quote really is the essence of the work that I’m moving towards. It is not that difficult to see that gadgets use energy and I don’t mean electricity – I mean YOUR energy. When you watch hours of television, do you feel more energized or less? When you work on your laptop for hours, do you feel more focussed or less? Living your life through the screen is like being plugged into the Matrix.

You get more excited about the comment or poke, than you do about a phone call from your best friend. Validation seeking or supplication has been taken to new heights on social networks. I don’t profess to be advocating abstinence or absconding. Instead I always find the middle ground to be more empowering.

So what is the middle ground when using social networking? It may be switching off on some days and moving away from the always-on culture. The messages in your Inbox are never more important then going inside yourself. It’s only when the voice and the vision on the inside becomes more load and clear, that’s when you begin to master your life according to Dr John Demartini. This is a fancy way of saying that what you think about yourself, and the world around you, is more important than what others think or say about it.

Try not watching any news for a month. You may feel disconnected in the beginning. However, as you progress on this journey, you feel a sense of freedom. You no longer care about what’s happening between two countries on the other side of the world. This has no direct impact on your daily life, and you also feel less guilt. There’s no need to get excited or stressed about starving Somalia’s or war in Iraq because your own life is more important.

You cannot be who you are when your thoughts are contaminated with the beliefs of what other people think are important. So switching off from cell phones or the Internet is one sure way to energise your life. There was and always will be people who cannot live without their gadgets. You don’t have to be one of them. You have the power inside you to say “No!” and then to walk away. Being a zombie trapped in a digital dungeon can never be as much fun as the feeling you have when you rush to or from the waves on the beach or the sense of awe when you reach the top of a hill when hiking.

Switching off allows you’re the time to do something else in the real world. Take this first step into the brave new world.


Recruitment Agencies vs Linkedin Coach

When you think about how much money is spent on the recruitment process, you may feel like there is no other way. Well with the rise of business social networking sites like LinkedIn, you have more power in your own hands than you ever dreamed.

As a Linkedin coach I’ve helped CEO’s of major corporations to show them the power of Advanced Search using LinkedIn, and how to do targeted searches. When management sees the benefits so clearly, they realise this is one online business tool that the organisation cannot continue to ignore or avoid. Every staff member within a company no matter how big or small is encouraged to create a detailed profile, and to connect with each other, as well as others in their industry.

To bring the benefits of this new approach to sourcing talented and highly skilled professionals to a wider audience within the company a LinkedIn coach adds tremendous value. Sessions to assist company officials can be with Human Resources, Sales or Marketing departments on individual or group basis. This process helps you find new avenues to complete company objectives like hiring talented people who are difficult to recruit without headhunters. LinkedIn also helps those who need fast and accurate background checks.

Thousands of industry sectors are well represented in the leading global business network. And various subjects where issues are assessed and resolved are discussed by this active community on a daily basis. This makes it an excellent source of competitor information. Again, a LinkedIn Coach, may assist in training your team so they can produce enhanced competitive analysis reports, fulfil a talent management request, or identifying a dealmaker or investor for a new business operation. Whatever the sought information may be, a Linkedin coach can provide the needed references to similar projects published in the website and done by a professional Linkedin member who might have contributed his expertise on the matter. Considering the magnitude of information from millions of contributors, a Linkedin Coach guides you to sort out data and pinpoint the specific pieces that are required.

Recruitment companies can also benefit from a Linkedin coach to develop new skills and strategies. Hiring has changed in fundamental ways, and talented people are harder to find than ever before.  People skills are not what they used to be, and relationships value has dropped the more people rely on online social networks. LinkedIn provides mechanisms for recruitment agencies to remain viable in the 21st century. In such trainings, the specific techniques of maximising the website and tapping into it’s vast resources are explored in a customised manner. This knowledge imparted by the Linkedin coach cannot be found in books, magazines as they have been learned through extensive experience. These strategies can be adapted to increase the value adds offered in the headhunting process.


LinkedIn Coach helps you capture business opportunities

LinkedIn is the global leader in online business networking. In 2011, the company successfully listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and announced it has over 120 million active users. According to some reports there are more than 1.1 million South African business people using LinkedIn and the growth continues.

Business networking has never been more critical as more and more people are trying to find the right business partners, the right staff or the right leadership. Your LinkedIn Coach is a valuable partner to sidestep the complexity or confusion when trying to navigate the social media landscape. One of the strengths of LinkedIn is how it empowers your company to avoid the lengthy recruitment process, and is some respects avoid using recruitment companies completely. When you find you are ready to start using LinkedIn in your business, engaging with a top LinkedIn coach helps to accelerate the advantages you can derive from using this social network.

In today’s modern business environment, great emphasis must be placed on business intelligence to stay competitive. You can spend hours researching, reading article after article, report after report, without finding the right sources of intelligence you need to make a decision. With a professional network of contacts organised with help from LinkedIn, half your problems disappear. You can easily reach out to your network via a status update, or via a participating in a closed industry specific group, and gain valuable information and help from your peers.

Professionals worldwide have banded themselves into a structure using LinkedIn, like a global network, with the main aim of exchanging business intelligence among them. It is a common fact that information is doubling at a more rapid pace as each year goes by. This private business network, allows you to tap into the combined resources of your peers without leaving your office. This site is so enormous that there is a need for a Linkedin Coach to guide you on how to use this giant website as a source of knowledge or a vehicle for disseminating information.

You can download my free LinkedIn Lessons guide or contact me for a LinkedIn consultation.


Operation Facebook, Hacktivists Rise Up!

Over the years I’ve noticed a love-hate relationship with Facebook developing. On the one hand, it seems like a marketing dream. On the other hand it’s a parent’s worst nightmare. When you consider the amount of information Facebook can now access via a user’s cellphone it indeed becomes scary. Smartphones with their tight integration into social networking sites allow for much more access to be shared than most users imagine. Every application you install on your phone has your implicit permission to access your data.

Anyway, a hackers group, Anonymous, is promising to take down Facebook on Guy Fawkes Day, 5 November. And the story has picked up attention from Gizodo, Business InsiderVillage Voice. As a long time Internet users, and privacy advocate, I see their intention as good. However, as a former IT Security professional, I seriously doubt their ability to bring down Facebook. If anything they may cause a denial of service for an extended period. However, the next day, all the server should be back up and running. With the kind of investment Facebook has received, there is no doubt they won’t protect their assest, the user data with numerous backup strategies. So time will tell whether the prolific hacking group, Anonymous will succeed in their attempt to kill Facebook.

All this reminds me of the scene at the end of The Truman Show. As he accepts his freedom, the two security guards who’ve been avid fans, just look puzzled, and say to each other, “I wonder what else is on tv….” Whether Facebook lives or dies, this is the likely response to by the masses, “What else is out there?”