Friday, June 19, 2009

Using LinkedIn - Building Your Network

Steve Newman attending LinkedIn workshop, June 17... in ActivSkin hosieryI've maintained a profile on LinkedIn for several months, now--ever since a colleague of mine sent me an invitation to 'join his professional network'. Although I signed on and created the profile, I have only gradually begun to learn how best to use this latest version of the social media networks that are sweeping the online landscape lately. This past Wednesday that changed when I attended a workshop to learn, "The Essentials You Need to Use LinkedIn"...

The workshop, sponsored by the local (Hilliard, OH) Chamber of Commerce and led by Sandy Blanquera of Social Boomerang, was very informative. It was held in a technical institute training site, with computers available for all participants, so we could modify our profiles as we listened to Ms. Blanquera's recommendations. I brought my laptop, as you can see above. And no, I wasn't the only male in the room. It just looks that way from the perspective of the photo above. As you can see from the other one, there were other men in attendance.

Steve Newman at LinkedIn workshopAs a result of what I learned, I've updated my profile to better represent what I currently do or specialize in. I've also been working diligently on expanding my network of connections. One of the important things about that is that it enables members to respond to one another's needs for infomation, etc. The more you offer to help someone in your network, the more likely they are to remember this some day when you are searching for infomation, or someone who can help you with what you are trying to achieve.

For me, since the success of ActivSkin rests a great deal on spreading the word about the benefits of this new trend in men's wear, and publicizing the fact that so many men are beginning to embrace it, this sort of networking is very helpful in getting the word out to various media representatives looking for content for their newspapers, magazines, TV shows and blogs. LinkedIn can be used in conjunction with Twitter to make a wider number of people aware of the existence of The Nylon Gene blog. The more people who are aware of it, the more who have the opportunity to receive unadulterated information--uncluttered by some of the baggage that obscures relevant conversation about men's legwear. In the absence of thoughtful, in-depth information, media attention can instead turn in the direction of superficial and inane. The best way to prevent this is to make our information as widely available as possible.

Yesterday's post talks about the Bit.Ly URL shortener for use in conjunction with Twitter, and encourages my readers to engage in frequent conversations on Twitter about our topics. I've also added a toolbar at the upper righthand corner of the page with a link to my LinkedIn profile. I would encourage you to visit it, and don't be bashful about sending me a request to join your network. It doesn't matter that we've not met personally, just mention in the accompanying message that you know me from The Nylon Gene.

Steve Newman: LinkedIn workshop, wearing Black ActivSkin A677 HosierySee you on LinkedIn!...

P.S., You'll notice from the photos that I wore black sheer hose to the workshop (ActivSkin Style A677). Those who are still concerned over what people may think when they notice you're wearing nylon hosiery should take note of this. I make it a fairly regular practice to attend outside business meetings dressed similarly to this (maybe a dressier shirt in some cases), and I never encounter negative reactions or feedback. I do this primarily to raise awareness of the emerging men's legwear trend, but those who wear skintone legwear, or only under long pants, should take heart that they need not worry about unfavorable reactions from others--even if the do happen to notice (which most do not).

The lady to my left in the last picture can be seen looking at my legs. Some men who are not confident in themselves may become uncomfortable with this. But you should keep in mind that any time someone wears an out-of-the-ordinary style, people will look. Looking is not equivalent to disapproval. Think about how you react when you see something out of the ordinary. You tend to look a little longer, to check it out. Then you move on. The same is to be expected when someone wears dark colored legwear. However, I've become accustomed to the fact that it is generally just curiosity, and use the opportunity to engage them in conversation if possible.

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