Category Archives: content

Happy Holidays, 2009!

2009 was all about family, friends, being home and watching our kids change and grow. Our kids are at an amazing age and enjoying home life, school, and spending time with friends and relatives. We feel so lucky that we continue to have many new adventures as we keep our life exciting and rewarding.

Here is a (5 min.) video with a few of our favorite photos from 2009.

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LinkedIn Best Practices

LinedIn "In" Badge LogoAre you using LinkedIn? I mean…are USING LinkedIn? It’s not enough just to have a LinkedIn account and accept the occasional invitation that comes across your inbox. LinkedIn is a very powerful, useful, professional social networking tool that should be used as a competitive advantage.

The people you know and the people that know you, can be the difference you need to win new business, find great talent, or build great partnerships. When used well, LinkedIn allows you to find connections you didn’t know you had and re-connect with people you’ve lost touch with and wished you hadn’t.

Everyone needs to decide how much time they want spend nurturing their online profiles, but here are a few easy things you can do to get the most out of LinkedIn.

  1. Who are you? Be sure to complete your profile with as much detail as you can to help answer the question “Who are you?” from a professional perspective.  LinkedIn provides an easy to monitor “Profile Completeness” tool showing how complete your profile is based on categories LinkedIn feels are important to having a strong and complete profile.  Shoot for having a 100% complete profile.
  2. How will people search for you? Think of LinkedIn as a search engine that people use to find you or your expertise. Make sure to use terms that describe what you do and terms that people will use when trying to find you or someone with your experience.
  3. Add a photo. Remember, LinkedIn is a professional SOCIAL network and is based on relationships. People like photos and it helps make your profile more personal. I recommend using the same photo on all of your online profiles–this allows people to more easily recognize you online (as long as it’s not a photo from 1982).
  4. Customize your LinkedIn Profile URL. This is any easy thing to do when editing your LinkedIn Profile. A custom URL can use your name instead of a long alpha-numeric URL. Custome URLs are easier to remember, better for search engine optimization, and look better in your email signature or on your business card.
  5. Use LinkedIn to find people you know. There is no better way to understand the value of LinkedIn than to use it. Start searching for colleagues, friends, and people you trust. Use your contact list or “rolodex” to add and find people you know.
  6. Promote your Profile. Add your LinkedIn Profile URL to your email signature so people can easily find you online and connect with you. Add it to your Facebook page, or Twitter profile. If you have a blog, add a LinkedIn badge that can link people to your profile.
  7. Add multiple Links. Be sure to add your other online profiles or links to the ‘Websites’ section of your profile. This creates an easy way for people to find and connect with you outside of LinkedIn.
  8. Join groups. Groups are a great way to connect with people with similar interests. If you’re a lawyer, join groups related to your practice area. If you’re a marketer, join groups that are related to your customers. I’m certain you’ll find a group that interests you. But, if not, create one!
  9. Answers. LinkedIn has a great Question and Answer section called ‘Answers’ that allows people to ask questions and get answers using the collective intelligence of their network.
  10. Companies. Another useful feature is the information found in the ‘Companies’ section. Here you’ll find brief descriptions of companies and all the people you have connections to at that company. A side bar also has numerous stats about the company and the employees who work there.

This is certainly not an extensive list of everything LinkedIn has to offer, but I hope it helps you get a little more out of your professional network.

How to do a screen grab on an iPhone

Here is a great tip that will allow you to take a screen capture of anything on your iPhone.  Simply hold down the home button and the on/off button at the same time. The screen will flash white and you’ll hear a camera shutter sound.  The screen grabs are saved as full resolution 320 x480 images to ‘Camera Roll’ directory in the Photos app.  It’s then easy to upload to iPhoto or email the screen capture.  I like to use Flickit to easily upload to Flickr.

Great Stop Motion Video – Her Morning Elegance / Oren Lavie

This is a very clever use of stop motion for Oren Lavie’s song Her Morning Elegance.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Here are some fun facts about the video:

  • The video was shot all stills – roughly 3225 still photos for the entire video, using one camera, hanging from the ceiling for the main body of the movie.
  • It took 4 weeks before shooting to create an animated computer generated storyboard for the video, with 3d dummies for the characters.
  • It took only 2 days of shooting for the live actors on set to re-create the 3.5 minutes computer sequence, frame by frame.
  • Some of the bed sheets used in the video were taken from Oren’s own bedroom and are now considered collectors items, worth at the moment not very much and therefore used as bed sheets.

For more information about the artist and this video go to: Everything you wanted to know about HER MORNING ELEGANCE video

What is Social Media?

Marta Kagan has created a great introduction into what social media is and isn’t.  Here is her presentation on SlideShare.

The ‘Duck Flambe’ Comes to Neighborhood Picnic

Just back from a week at Burning Man 2008, our neighborhood picnic was greeted with a visit from the ‘Duck Flambe.’ This incredible machine was a huge hit with the neighborhood and at Burning Man. (Don’t worry, no trees or people were harmed or burned in this demonstration.)

The Duck Flambe making a grand entrance!

The "Duck Flambe" making a grand entrance!

For more photos see the set on Flickr.

Change in Driving Style Saves Gas and Money!!!


Curious on how driving style affects gas mileage, I did a test over this past week to calculate my average fuel consumption on my commute to work. My commute is 8.2 miles (one-way) and has a mix of street and freeway driving. On Monday and Tuesday, I drove very conservatively trying to get the very best gas mileage I could. On Monday, I got an average of 23.5 MPG and on Tuesday I did a little better and got 24.5 MPG. Then on Wednesday and Thursday I drove as I normally would (faster starts and with more braking) and averaged 18.4 and 18.6 MPG, respectively.

This test showed me that I can increase my miles per gallon by 30% (or 5.5 MPG) by simply changing how I drive. This equates to an additional 99 miles per tank or a savings of $19.68 in fuel costs (assuming I fill the tank with 18 gallons of premium fuel at $4.77 per gallon and average 24 MPG).

I am amazed by these results and will definitely change how I drive to improve my miles per gallon.

UPDATE: Gary Richards, a.k.a. “Mr. Roadshow,” a journalist at the San Jose Mercury News, quoted a few items from this blog for his article Cheaper gasoline? It’s all relative on July 26, 2008.