Although today's post should be our Part II about applications, I'm going to take a bit of a break to talk instead about some settings. I know we're all concerned about (and should be) the settings that we have in these various social platforms, and one came to the forefront today - which I'll get to in a minute.
First, I want to make a comment about privacy - the short version is that nothing on the internet is private. That's right, I said it - nothing. Whatever you write, post, tweet, tag, etc. lives somewhere online forever. Even if you have the strictest of privacy settings, what you say can become public. So just bear that in mind whenever you're using social media - if it's not something you'd say to your grandmother or show to your grandmother, you probably shouldn't post it.
I also recently heard someone suggest you ask yourself these questions - "is it nice? is it necessary?" when posting. Or do as my friend Heather suggests and ask yourself - "Does this need to be said? Does this need to be said right now? Does this need to be said by me?" Most companies' social media policies will boil down to "Don't be an idiot" and I think that's good advice.
But moving along - there are still ways that you can protect your privacy, and some settings that will improve your social experience. Normally, privacy complaints are mostly about Facebook, who is notorious for rolling out new settings and making your default less than private. But today, LinkedIn is guilty of that too. So we'll start with the headline-making complaint today - there's a box that you want to uncheck in LinkedIn, which is currently set to allow them to use your photo and name in social advertising.
Since it's already been done, I won't go into detail about how to go into your settings and do this - I'll just suggest you visit this post for the full description.
Now let's look at some other settings. Starting from your home page, you'll mouseover your name in the upper right hand corner and a drop down menu will appear:
You'll see that you have two options - "Settings" or "Sign Out." Choose Settings. You may be prompted to sign in here, just so that LinkedIn knows you are who you say you are, so if that's the case, enter your email address and password to continue.
You'll come to a page that looks like this:
At the top of the page, you'll see the basic information about your account. It will tell you how long you've been a member (since April of 2006, can you believe it?), your primary email address, any payment information and your account type. They also have an upgrade button here if you wanted to upgrade your account to pro - while I understand there are benefits to doing this, I've been a LinkedIn member for five years, and have always had the basic, free account.
Let's start at the bottom, with your Profile settings:
Your account settings will default to this tab, so there's no need to click anything yet. As you can see, there are Privacy Controls, Settings and Helpful Links. Let's start with Privacy Controls.
The first option is to "Turn on/off your activity broadcasts." We talked about this briefly the other day - your activity broadcasts is what is included in other people's news feeds about you. For example, if you want to make a number of changes to your profile information, but don't want anyone to see it (let's say you plan to look for another job, but don't want to alert your work colleagues that you're updating your resume), you can turn this off. Or you can turn it off if you prefer that this information isn't shared.
To do this, click on the link to "Turn on/off your activity broadcasts." A new window will pop up:
By having the box checked, you are agreeing that people will see when you change your profile, make recommendations or follow companies. Even LinkedIn mentions here that you should turn this off if you're looking for another job!
You may be wondering if there's a good reason to have this box checked - in an earlier post, we talked about engaging. Most people using LinkedIn are going to engage with those they see in their news feed - if you uncheck this box, you won't appear in their news feed and as they say, out of sight is out of mind. Most LinkedIn users will not remember to go to your profile to look at it, so in order to stay top of mind, it's a good idea to keep this checked and make recommendations or follow companies as appropriate.
If the box is checked and you uncheck it, or vice versa, make sure to click "Save changes" so that the changes take effect.
The next privacy control is selecting who can see your activity feed.
Here, you can determine who you want to be able to see your activity - click this link and you'll get a pop-up window with a drop-down menu (as an aside, a drop-down menu is a list of items that are shown with one selection, and when you click on it, a menu drops down to give you choices. I was a computer science major, so sometimes I forget whether terms are generally familiar or not - if you're not sure what I mean by something, please don't hesitate to ask! I recently had to talk an attorney through the difference between a browser and a website, so I'll take even very basic questions!):
As you can see from this list, you have four options - everyone, your network, your connections, and only you. This is to identify who will be able to see your activity feed - this is anything you do on LinkedIn, from recommending someone to "liking" a post or article, to sharing a comment. Who do you want this shared with?
You may be wondering about the difference between "your network" and "your connections." Your connections are everyone on LinkedIn that you have directly connected to - either you have sent them an invitation that they've accepted, or they've sent you an invitation that you've accepted. Your network is larger than this - as we've talked about before, LinkedIn calls your friends of friends "2nd degree" connections and your friends of friends of friends "3rd degree connections." Your "network" consists of every one of your connections (they're 1st degree), as well as your 2nd and 3rd degree connections - so this will include people that you don't necessarily know.
This is a personal choice for how to set this. I keep mine at "Your connections," because despite these tutorials, I'm a fairly private person. People may think I share a lot, but I'm a selective sharer - this makes people think that I share EVERYTHING, when I'm really only sharing the things I want them to know. So I also like to keep my privacy settings fairly private. When we start discussing Facebook in a few weeks, you'll see just how private!
But the choice is yours here. Once you make your selection, you'll again click "Save changes" so that these changes take effect.
The next privacy setting is "Select what others see when you've viewed their profile."
This is a funny setting because it only allows you to see who's seen your profile if you let your profile be fairly public.
When you click this link, a window will pop up with three choices:
LinkedIn recommends you choose the first option, which allows them to see who you are, your professional "headline" and where you're located. You can also choose to share some anonymous profile characteristics, which LinkedIn identifies - but as you can see, they're wrong about my job function here (I'm not in IT, but my title makes it *look* like I am). Or, you can choose to be totally anonymous.
As you can see, LinkedIn tells you that if you choose either of the anonymous options, your "profile stats" will be disabled. This means that currently, you have a page that lets you see who has viewed your profile (if they permit it):
You can see the most recent five people who have seen your profile, as well as trends. If you'd like additional data or to see the full list of who has viewed your profile, you need a pro account.
But you can see from here that if you choose the second option, your information would appear similarly to that of the last person who looked at my profile "Account Executive at Veritext."
Again, it's up to you - if you'd like to see some profile stats information, then it makes sense to stick with the recommended setting. Otherwise, feel free to choose one of the anonymous settings. Again, if you make a change here, make sure to click "Save Changes" for the changes to take effect.
The next setting is "Select who can see your connections."
I've spoken with lawyers before who have concerns that once they sign up for LinkedIn and begin connecting with people, their competitors will be able to see who their clients are and poach them.
Now, we'll talk about how you can avoid this, but generally my first response to this question is that as long as you're doing a good job as your clients' advocate, they're not going to be swayed by a competitor bugging them on LinkedIn.
But, if you're still worried, this is the setting to focus on.
Click the link, and a new window will open with a drop-down menu:
Right off the bat, you can see that unless you're connecting with your competitors, they won't be able to see who your connections are. The only two options you have are letting the people you're connected to see each other, or only letting you see who your connections are.
You can see that LinkedIn notes that people will always be able to see shared connections - and this is because several of LinkedIn's features are dependent upon those shared connections. In that case, your clients would only be seen by a competitor if they were also connected to them.
Again, decide how you would like to set this and click "Save Changes."
The final privacy control setting here is "Change your profile photo and visibility."
Clicking this link will take you to a new screen. Here, you can upload a new photo of yourself if you have a more current one, and you can identify who you would like your profile photo to be visible to - your connections, your network, or everyone.
This is again, a personal choice, but I have it set to everyone. Even though I don't have the most common name, you'd be surprised at how many Lindsay Griffiths' there are out there - so when someone is looking for me on LinkedIn, it often helps if they can put a face to a name. Even if we haven't met, my photo on LinkedIn will be the same one I use on Twitter and in my email signature, so if they know me virtually, they can find the correct "me."
But if you'd prefer to keep it more private, you can always change the setting, and click "Save Settings" for the changes to take effect:
On this profile tab, you'll also see additional "Settings" as well as "Helpful Links:"
We'll go through these quickly:
- Manage your Twitter settings: This will only appear if you have linked a Twitter account with LinkedIn. Since we're going with the basics here, I won't go in to how to do this until we're talking about Twitter itself.
- Edit your name, location & industry: Clicking on this link will take you to the page to edit your basic information which we saw in the profile section - LinkedIn is just offering a "one-stop shop" if you will for links to anything you might want to do.
- Edit your profile: Again, this is going to take you to the profile editing page, which you can also reach from the main menu, as we described in Part II of creating your profile.
- Edit Your Public Profile: This will allow you to customize how your profile appears in public search results:
There are a couple of things here that bear commenting on - On the right hand side, you'll see that there's a number of things that you can do to customize your profile content. You can choose at the top to make your public profile visible to no one. However, I wouldn't recommend this if you want clients and potential clients to be able to find you on LinkedIn. But within your public profile, you can also choose what to make visible.
The basics are required, but you can choose whether to include your picture, headline, summary and specialties, current positions and details, past positions, education and details, additional information and what you're interested in.
Below that, you can see a link to "Customize your public profile URL." I can't recommend this enough - as you can see, my customized url is http://www.linkedin.com/in/lindsaygriffiths - there isn't a lot of numbers in the address, so I'm easily found and remembered. It's just a cleaner way to see your profile.
To do this, click on the link. A box will pop up allowing you to customize the part after the "www.linkedin.com/in/" The URL must contain 5-30 letters or numbers (no spaces, symbols or special characters). I recommend using your name. There's the chance that your name is already taken, and in this case, you may want to include your middle initial, or use a number as part of it. Once you've selected the URL, click "Set Custom URL."
And below this, you'll see a notation for "profile badges." These are graphics like the one that they show, which you can include on your blog or website using some HTML code that they'll provide for you - this can be a bit on the advanced side, so if you'd like to include it and you're not HTML savvy, check with your IT folks for some assistance.
- Manage your recommendations: We haven't gotten to this stage yet, so we'll come back to this in a later post.
The next tab down from profile settings are your email preferences. This is an important one - so let's click on that tab:
There are two sets of preferences to edit here - email preferences and LinkedIn preferences. We'll start with email preferences. The first one on the list is "Select the types of messages you're willing to receive."
Click on that link and a new window will pop up.
There are a couple of sections to pay attention to in this window. At the top, there are options for messages - you can decide whether you'd like to receive introductions only, or introductions and InMail. Remember that introductions are emails from your connections that introduce you to their connections, while InMail is emails from people who are not necessarily connected to you in any way.
Below that, you can choose the types of inquiries you'd like to receive - I've always left this at the default, which is expertise requests, personal reference requests, job inquiries and requests to connect, but you can select or de-select these according to your personal preferences.
Then below that, they offer you a text box where you can include advice to people who are contacting you. This might be a good space for a disclaimer - there isn't many places in social media to accommodate a legal disclaimer, but including one here would alert anyone trying to contact you that you're not forming an attorney/client privilege with them through this site.
Again, once you've made your selections here, click "Save changes" for the changes to take effect.
The next email preference is "Set the frequency of emails."
This will give you a pop-up window that allows you to categorize a number of different types of messages that you may receive from LinkedIn, from InMails, introductions and OpenLink, right through the Top articles news digest.
As you can see, there are a lot of choices here - and don't forget to scroll down within this window, as there are many more! Each one has a drop down menu, and contains a combination of the following - individual email, weekly digest email, daily digest email, no email.
Although it may seem too time consuming to go through all of these options and decide what you'd like to receive and how, it's worth it. We're all so busy these days and getting tons of information in our inbox, so you want to make sure that you're getting only the most useful information from LinkedIn. One recommendation I'll make here comes right from one of our attorneys.
When you scroll down, you'll see that there's a "Network activity" email - set this to get a weekly digest. He said that he was not going to set LinkedIn as his home page, or remember to check in regularly, but the weekly digest will deliver the highlights of the activity of his network so that he can decide when he receives it whether he wants to engage with anyone on LinkedIn as a result.
Obviously, I still recommend making LinkedIn a page that opens when you log into your browser in the morning, but if you're not going to, this is a good alternative. Your email digest will have the top five news stories in it in a few different categories, so it won't be overwhelming, and if you'd like to see all of your network's activity, you can do that too. It's a gentle reminder to stay current with LinkedIn.
Again, when you're done selecting your individual preferences, click "Save changes."
The next email preferences governs who can send you invitations to connect.
Clicking on this link will open a new window that asks you to decide whether you'd like to receive invitations from anyone who has a LinkedIn account, only those people who know your email address (can cut down on spam) or appear in your "Imported Contacts" list (those are the people we added from Outlook), or only people who appear in your "Imported Contacts" list.
This is again, a personal preference. I have it set to anyone on LinkedIn, and then I review any invitations I get individually and decide whether or not to connect with the person. This means that anyone who knows me via social networking sites, who may not necessarily know my email address, can still connect with me on LinkedIn.
Once you've made your selection, click "Save changes."
- Turn on/off LinkedIn Announcements: This will open a window that will allow you to choose whether you would like to receive announcements, tips and insights into new products and features from LinkedIn. My feeling on this is that while it's important for someone in legal marketing to stay up on new developments, it's not as essential for busy attorneys to - so feel free to uncheck this box and rely on us to do the work of vetting new things and sharing them with you!
- Turn on/off invitations to participate in research: Similarly, LinkedIn will sometimes want you to participate in their online research studies. If you're not interested in these, you can click this link and uncheck the box.
- Turn on/off partner InMail: This is separate from any InMail you would receive from potential connections - LinkedIn allows their marketing partners and campaign partners to send you informational and promotional messages. If you're interested in these, the default is to send them. But if not, click this link, uncheck the two boxes, and hit Save Changes. You will still be able to get InMail from potential connections if your other settings have allowed this.
Groups, Companies & Applications
The majority of these settings will wait until we've gone into more detail on groups and companies. We've talked a little bit about applications, so just know that in this section, you can view the applications that you have or add applications (this will take you to the page we were working from in the last post):
Note that to get to this screen we clicked on the "Groups, Companies & Applications" tab on the left.
An important link here that I will point out is under Privacy Controls, where you can "Turn on/off data sharing with 3rd party applications."
This would involve any application that is not run by LinkedIn, such as Martindale-Hubbell's Lawyer Ratings or JD Supra's Legal Updates. My understanding of this setting is that it won't affect your use of these applications if you uncheck this box - it will just keep your personal information from being transmitted to those companies. LinkedIn gurus - if you know differently, please feel free to correct me!
The final tab option is "Account" - click on that tab to see the settings options:
The first link here will be the "Manage Social Advertising" link, which you took care of in the beginning of this post, so we'll skip right to "Turn on/off enhanced advertising."
When you click this link, a new window will open up explaining that LinkedIn works with partner websites to show enhanced advertisements - the check box allows you to decide whether their partner sites can share advertising with you. This defaults to yes, so you can skip this if you're fine with that, or uncheck the box and click "Save changes" if not:
The next option is changing your profile and visibility, which we addressed earlier, so we'll again jump ahead to "Show/hide profile photos of other members." If, for some reason, you don't want to see other people's profile pictures, you can click this link and a new window will open up with a drop box, allowing you to choose to see everyone's photos, only those in your network or among your connections, or no one's photos. The default is everyone, so if you're okay with that, you can skip changing this setting, or you can make your changes and click "Save changes."
The next option is to "Customize the updates you see on your home page."
Clicking this link will open up a new window that allows you to customize your homepage experience:
- Add & change email addresses: Sometimes, you may have people inviting you to join LinkedIn on your personal account when you already have it under your professional account (as an aside, it's important to find out what your company's policy is about having the account with your professional email address - you may not be allowed to take those connections and that profile with you if you leave that position, depending on what the policy is. Sometimes it's safer to have your account only associated with your personal email address for this reason).
If people are inviting you from multiple accounts though and you do want them all to go to a single profile, this is where you would click to add the addresses. Additionally, if you want to change the address that's associated with the account, you would do that here as well.
Clicking on this link will open a new window that allows you to add an email address, choose which of the email addresses on file are your primary address, or remove email addresses - note that your primary address cannot be removed, so if you want to get rid of it, you'll have to first make another email address the primary one.
- Change password: This is self-explanatory - if you want to change your password, this is where you do it.
- Upgrade your account: Again, self-explanatory.
- Close your account: Also self-explanatory.
- Get LinkedIn content in an RSS feed: Raise your hand if you know what an RSS feed is! For those of you who aren't sure, RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary - basically it is a format for delivering web content that regularly changes. News sites, blogs, even your websites (some of them) will use RSS feeds to "push" content.
Let's look at how this works in practice - we'll use this blog as an example. I'll post a new blog post, which is "published" to my blog site (www.zenlegalnetworking.com). Since I have RSS feeds, anyone who has subscribed to the feed will automatically see my post in the feed reader that they're using (a feed reader is just a service that you use to read RSS feeds - in my case, I use Google Reader, which I'm very fond of. If you're interested in a tutorial on that, let me know, and I can do one after the LinkedIn series).
That way, people who want to read my blog posts regularly don't have to try to remember to head over to my blog and see if I've published something new - anything new that's published is automatically "pushed" to their feed reader. This is the same for news feeds that use RSS or website feeds that use RSS - the new ILN site uses RSS, so you can subscribe to the feed and get any articles that we publish to your feed reader rather than having to come to the site to see them - it's a much easier way to get your news and information than going to a bunch of different sites to find them.
The nice thing is that you can also set up searches for content that are delivered via RSS, but now I'm getting off topic.
Like other sites, LinkedIn enables you to get your news feed as an RSS feed, instead of having to log in and read the activity items on their homepage. So if you have a feed reader that you like and use to get all of your blog information on, it might be easier for you to cut down on all the sites you're checking and just add a LinkedIn RSS feed to your reader. You can do this by clicking the link here in the Account tab and following the prompts - these can be a little bit daunting if you're not using a reader yet, but if you'd like to learn, again, please feel free to let me know!