Archive for August, 2012

If you’re a LinkedIn user, you already know the power of your professional network.

What if you could visualize what your network looks like? Would your connections form clusters or groups? Wouldn’t it be great if you could see the way all your connections are related to each other? Even be able to identify the elusive hubs between your professional worlds?

Now, you can!

InMaps is an interactive visual representation of your professional universe that answers all of the above questions. It’s a great way to understand the relationships between you and your entire set of LinkedIn connections. With it you can better leverage your professional network to help pass along job opportunities, seek professional advice, gather insights, and more.


The old saying that breaking up is hard to do has major resonance in the workplace.

It’s not only difficult to quit a job, in some cases people avoid leaving an employer altogether, deciding they’d rather stick with the status quo than take a stab at a new position with a competitor—or even a new career altogether.

The fear of the unknown keeps many creative professionals from realizing their career potential or seeking out greener pastures where they might be far happier and more fulfilled. While the mindset makes sense, this sort of career paralysis hurts both employers and employees. After all, unhappy, disengaged workers tend to be unproductive and are last to bring new ideas to the table.

That’s why at times, quitting is just the right thing to do, particularly in situations where you feel undercompensated, the structure of your company has changed or a glass ceiling holds you in one position. Then there are the inevitable lifestyle changes—think the arrival of new babies or even age—that demand a corresponding career shift. In short, when you find yourself disengaged in a position, when the company moves in a direction that doesn’t suit your skill set or lifestyle needs, or when Monday morning treks to the office become torturous, it’s probably time to find new work.

Still, I meet dozens of disengaged professionals every week who are seeking new positions, some of whom still aren’t sure whether they’re making the right decision. I deliver the same message to each of them: No one cares about your career as much as you, so now is the perfect time to take control. Despite my pep talks, many of the permanent-position candidates with whom we work go through the interview process and turn down offers because they get cold feet. Others are counter-offered by their current employer. Although accepting an offer of a better position or compensation may give them reason to stay aboard, it should make them want to jump ship because it’s only a matter of time before most of these people will be moved out of their job. Why? When management senses disloyalty, those who threaten to leave are often the first to be shuffled internally—or out the door—when the company’s long-term plans change.

If you’re stuck in a rut and simply can’t decide whether to wave goodbye to the current creative position that no longer has you thinking creatively, it’s time to look at the opportunity cost of not making a move. How will your career benefit/suffer by staying put?

In my next post, how to decide when it’s time to move on, as well as a few tips on finding a new position that suits your career aspirations.

Craig Hodges,
Relationship Manager

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The Evolution of the Web

The web today is a growing universe of interlinked web pages and web apps, teeming with videos, photos, and interactive content. What the average user doesn’t see is the interplay of web technologies and browsers that makes all  this possible.

Over time web technologies have evolved to give web developers the ability to create new generations of useful and immersive web experiences. Today’s web is a result of the ongoing efforts of an open web community that helps define these web technologies, like HTML5, CSS3 and WebGL and ensure that they’re supported in all web browsers.

The color bands in this visualization represent the interaction between web technologies and browsers, which brings to life the many powerful web apps that we use daily.


“Is Facebook trying to be like LinkedIn?”

Brands may soon be able to advertise in the news feeds of Facebook users who aren’t fans of their pages.

The social network revealed Tuesday that it will begin testing promoted posts that can reach people who haven’t “liked” a company’s Facebook page.

“Starting soon, we are beginning a very small test that will allow marketers to promote page posts to people beyond their fans in the news feed,” says Facebook spokeswoman Annie Ta. “These ads may appear on both desktop and mobile.”

The ads will look like typical page post ads in the news feed, but will be labeled as “sponsored,” Ta tellsMashable in an email. A screenshot of the ad shows an option to “like” a company’s page in the top right hand corner of the post.

“We think this will make it easier for businesses to reach more people,” she says.

Currently, only fans who like a brand’s page receive its posts in their news feeds.

Last week, Facebook introduced new mobile ad units to help app developers market themselves. The units drive users to new apps to download in Apple’s App Store or Google Play.

Facebook says it has directed users to both app stores 146 million times, from early July to early August, through clicks from news feed, timeline, bookmarks and App Center.

In June, the social media giant introduced Sponsored Stories for the news feed that are specifically for mobile devices.

Do you like the idea of promoted posts in your Facebook news feed? Tell us in the comments below.

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Nearly 2 billion Facebook shares could come to market in the next nine months as lockup rules expire.

LinkedIn is not the sexiest social media firm. But its earnings were solid and may even help lift Facebook’s stock.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Facebook’s post-IPO life has been rocky, and on Thursday it will face one of the toughest times for a newly public company: the first day that some insiders are allowed to dump the stock.

Like many initial public offerings, Facebook’s May 18 debut included a “lockup” agreement that requires some shareholders to hold on to their stock for a certain period. When a company’s locked-up shares are set free, the stock typically tanks, since millions of new shares flood in at once.

Facebook’s first reckoning day is here.

Insiders will be free to sell off about 271 million shares on Thursday. Since Facebook (FB) has lost nearly half its value since its debut, some may jump at the chance.

The reasoning behind lockups, which usually last 90 to 180 days, is to prevent the market from being swamped with too many of a company’s shares immediately after an IPO. Keeping stocks scarce can help boost their value.

Facebook’s fellow newly public Internet companies felt the pain when their lockups ended. LinkedIn (LNKDslumped as much as 7% on its lockup expiration day, and Groupon (GRPN) fell 10% to hit a new low.

Click here to view Video.

Thursday is only the first in a series of lockup expirations for Facebook. Its unusual, tiered system means several more waves are coming, and a total of 1.8 billion shares could hit the market in the next nine months.

Ken Sena, an analyst at Evercore Partners, warned in a note to clients that the stock drag “is likely to be drawn out” because of the staggered schedule.

But S&P Capital IQ analyst Scott Kessler shrugged off the concerns, and even upgraded his rating on Facebook to “buy” from “hold” on Tuesday. “We do not expect early employees and investors will be aggressive sellers of FB shares at current levels,” he wrote in a client note.

The big Facebook stock dump could come in mid-November. That’s when Facebook will convert the special form of restricted stock units, or RSUs, held by most of its staff into actual shares of its stock.

Facebook’s employees will owe taxes this year on the value of that stock. Like most companies that issue RSUs, Facebook is handling the logistics on its employees’ behalf. (The employees are still ultimately responsible for making sure their tax bills are fully covered.)

Facebook plans to withhold a big chunk of its employees’ shares — roughly 120 million — and sell them on the open market to cover the tax bill. Selling off so many shares at once could hammer the company’s stock price. So Facebook has a Plan B: It can tap its credit lines and cash reserves to pay off the tax bill without issuing equity.

A Facebook representative declined to comment on which route the company plans to take.

Facebook has carefully lined up its options. It took out a $3 billion credit line specifically earmarked for the potential RSU-linked tax bill, and it’s currently sitting on $10 billion in cash.

At Facebook’s current share price, the tax bill would total around $2.6 billion. If its stock price keeps dropping, that bill will shrink further.

Facebook did get a vote of confidence from one investor last week. Netflix(NFLX) CEO Reed Hastings, who’s also a member of Facebook’s board, disclosed to regulators that he recently bought $1 million worth of shares in the social network.

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Some of you may have tried to reach me this morning and found that I was unavailable. That’s because I was knee high in muck with my husband and some friends. We were out having what I call clamming wars, here on Cape Cod.

I have to admit, my team was quite vocal everytime we scored a clam, which by my count was many. The other team raked for clams quietly in the distance. You can imagine our surprise when the quiet team hauled in considerably more clams than our team. Who would have thought?

Sometimes we forget that the most productive people in an organization aren’t the ones who make the most noise. In fact, it’s often the quiet ones who out-produce everyone else.

Here are some reasons I think this is so.

Being quiet strengthens focus. It’s hard to focus on the task at hand when you yourself are making so much noise. The other team, who participated in the clamming wars, never took their eye off the prize. Our team, on the other hand, did a happy dance in the sand every time we hit pay dirt. In retrospect, this was probably valuable time wasted.

Being quiet calms others. Quiet people have the ability to calm those around them. For example, when everyone is stressing out because it looks like a team isn’t going to meet their deadlines, it’s usually the quiet people who are able to calm people down and carry them over the finish line.

Being quiet conveys confidence. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone when you are confident. You know you do a good job and you believe that eventually others will take notice.

Being quiet means you think before you speak. Quiet people are usually thoughtful thinkers. They think things through before making a statement. Something you probably wish many of your workers would do before taking up your valuable time.

Being quiet gives you the space to dig deep. Quiet people tend to delve into issues and ideas before moving on to new ones. Compare this to the surface people in your organization, who often move onto other matters without giving thought to the gold that may be sitting right below the surface.

The next time you evaluate team performance, be sure to give credit where credit is due. Remember that at the end of the day, it’s not about the noise one makes, but what one actually gets done

Guest contributor Roberta Chinsky Matuson is an internationally recognized expert on increasing profitability by maximizing employee contribution. Her website is She is the author of Suddenly in Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around, a Washington Post Top-­5 Leadership pick. Download a free bonus chapter. Her new book, The Magnetic Workplace: How to Hire Top Talent That Will Stick Around will be published in 2013. Sign up to receive a subscription to Roberta’s complimentary newsletter.

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Making Sustainability Part of the Brand Story

 Sustainability may have become a mainstream concept but it’s not an easy fit within a brand    strategy. From first identifying the issues that matter to finally taking a message to market, it’s a long distance for a brand to journey. With brand reputations at stake and consumers empowered by social media, marketers can’t be too careful about how they integrate environmental and social messages within their communications.

Fortunately, marketers can benefit from the lessons learned by two iconic brands: Coca-Cola and Tim Hortons. Their stories are featured in the Canadian Marketing Association’s latest leadership paper, “Sustainability: Why the Marketing Needs to be Firmly Rooted in the Movement”. The 22-page publication was co-authored by Weber Shandwick, the Sustainability Learning Centre, The Packaging Association and me.

The experience of Tim Hortons highlights the importance of getting the fundamentals right before going to market. With over 3,000 locations across Canada, the company is well aware that its corporate decisions impact hundreds of restaurant owners, thousands of employees and millions of customers. When Tim Hortons decided it was time to develop an overarching framework to anchor sustainability initiatives, the process had to start with listening closely to corporate business groups, restaurant owners, employees and customers.

Working with social change agency JWTEthos, Tim Hortons conducted workshops to better understand what social responsibility meant to those on the frontlines. Coming out of this inclusive process was the articulation of Tim Hortons’ perspective on responsibility, expressed as “Making a True Difference.” Paired with key performance indicators and embraced by stakeholders, Tim Hortons had a sustainability platform that was ready for public consumption.

Coca-Cola’s story is instructive for brands ready to build an emotional connection with consumers around sustainability issues. As a global giant, Coca-Cola saw the need to establish local relevance and credibility while rolling out its sustainability platform in Canada. Global sustainability goals are certainly admirable but Coca-Cola needed to communicate Live Positively in a way that would specifically resonate with Canadians, an environmentally-savvy audience with high concern for local communities.

The solution was to partner with highly respected non-profit organizations that were already well established in the hearts of Canadians: ParticipACTION, an advocate for active living; Breakfast Clubs of Canada, dedicated to supporting school breakfast programs; and WWF, arguably Canada’s leading environmental organization. These partnerships form the basis of a recent campaign, housed at, which profiles local heroes and calls on Canadians to get involved in community programs.

The in-depth case studies are available for download here. The webinar will be held on August 21, 2012.

Stephanie Myers

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