Larry BraunerI launched my own LinkedIn group, Larry Brauner and Friends, as an experiment early last year. The group has since grown to over 800 members. We’ve explored a wide range of subjects and have hopefully demonstrated the feasibility of using a LinkedIn group for personal branding.

From the outset, I had in mind that when the time was ripe, I would begin conducting live interviews in the group with individuals who were thought leaders in their respective fields. Readers would be able to pose questions regarding a particular response or relevant to the overall conversation, simply by adding a comment. That time has finally come. :-D

Debugging Your Information Technology Job SearchI shall be interviewing over a number of weeks Janice Weinberg, a Westport, Connecticut career consultant and author of career books for IT professionals and managers. Her latest book, Debugging Your Information Technology Job Search, contains many innovative ideas for IT managers and executives through the CIO and CTO level who are seeking new jobs. The book also guides readers in identifying and correcting problems that are preventing them from generating interviews or — if they are obtaining interviews — impeding their ability to receive offers.

My questions to Janice will cover resume-writing, guidance in identifying employers likely to have suitable openings, and techniques for presenting oneself as a strong candidate in interviews. In providing her responses, Janice will draw upon her experience assisting IT managers* in obtaining computer operations, network operations center (NOC), service delivery, helpdesk, application development, program management, technology risk, and IT marketing/sales positions, as well as CTO and CIO jobs.

If you’d like to help your friends who are seeking management jobs, you may want to direct them to the interview: Advice for Managerial Job Seekers From Career Book Author

*Please note that although the emphasis in this author interview will be on providing guidance to IT managers, managers who are not seeking computer-related jobs can also expect to learn novel ideas to help them find more rewarding employment, since some topics I plan to cover will relate to general search strategies applicable to all managers.

Before you go, subscribe to Online Social Networking and “like” Larry Brauner on Facebook. :-)

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Larry BraunerIt’s fairly obvious that I’m not updating this blog very often. I used to write a major article every week, and now I barely write an article a month. I miss it and look forward to getting back to it. However, on the bright side, I’m busier than ever with social media — for others — and therefore have little time right now for personal blogging.

My main occupation is as head of social media and marketing for a high-end watch distributor 20 minutes drive from my home. On December 4, 2010, Ivo Jackson and I launched a “temporary” website for the company which by now is in desperate need of a major redesign and overhaul. To date our website has received 142,000 visits including 20K visits in this it’s sixteenth month, and 269,000 pageviews including 40K pageviews this month.

This effort has required an enormous amount of my time (I’m earnestly looking for a social media assistant to work locally with me in Rockland County, NY on this project) and the time of others including my principal freelance watch writer, John Sealander.

I’m also part-time social media head for American Friends of Retorno on a project that will help returning American soldiers recover from PTSD and drug addiction. Our website is nearly complete. I’ll be asking for your help once it’s fully set up.

While I do my work, I’m online all day, and Facebook or Small Business Network are probably the best places to find me. (I also accept all requests to connect on LinkedIn where I have in excess of 6,000 direct connections.)

I truly love networking and although very busy, I’m still very accessible. :-)

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Larry BraunerI work at a watch company for which social media and web marketing are key tools for accelerating its business expansion.

As Social Media Director, I flew with our team to Basel, Switzerland in March to attend Baselworld, the grandest and most important watch and jewelry event of the  year.

Social Media Help Wanted

Haurex 1K374UNN INK Collections Featuring Aluminum and Rubber as Announced at Baselworld 2011I explained in My Social Media Mission Abroad that I was visiting at Baselworld 2011 with the dozens of watch brands we represent to discuss social media collaboration and ideas for future projects.

I realized, of course, that I’d need substantial help to carry out the social media plans made in Basel.

Besides freelance writers who can appreciate and blog about luxury, fashion and watches, I’m also looking locally in the Greater New York area for an art director, PR expert and advertising specialist.

New Social Media Profit Centers

For decades, I’ve been intrapreneurial. Now, in addition to leveraging our Internet properties to promote our firm and its many watch brands, it’s my intention, as well, to turn these websites into profit centers and totally new income streams.

So far we have several work-at-home bloggers and a few candidates for the in-house positions. To recommend someone or apply yourself for any of these opportunities, check out my Connect page.

Social Media Watch

I’ll keep you informed about our social media moves and their effectiveness. Please subscribe and join me on Facebook — and don’t hesitate to leave me a comment. ;-)

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Larry BraunerSeven years ago in November 2003, I began my online networking exploration on Ryze, a new social web site which was, along with LinkedIn, one of the first social networking and business networking sites.

It wasn’t until 2006, after I’d already joined a number of additional social networking websites, that I learned that these sites were the precursors of a much larger social media phenomenon. I also learned about the importance of blogs, explained by Darren Rouse in his video which I embedded in Not Ready for Social Media Marketing.

Third BlogiversaryI launched this blog, Online Social Networking, in November 2007, and yes, I am celebrating my third blogiversary. :-D

In Social Media One Bite at a Time and 7 Tips for Winning the Social Media Marathon, I discuss the social media mindset and some of the social media strategies I’ve found very helpful.

Building My Social Media and Web Presence

Here is a list of my 10 top strategies for building my social media and web presence:

  1. Partnership - Building relationships though blogging, online social networking and social bookmarking sites.
  2. Content - Writing and publishing well thought-out and occasionally useful articles on my two blogs.
  3. Search Engine Optimization - Ongoing keyword research and SEO. 50% of all my web site traffic comes directly from search engines.
  4. Diversification - Creating a presence on diverse social media sites and cultivating diverse web site traffic sources.
  5. Innovation - Experimenting with many ideas, some work out and others flop, while resisting any urges to follow the crowd.
  6. Boldness - Haven’t been afraid to test the limits of social websites and social media strategies. Twitter removed @larrybrauner from their search results, Sphinn terminated my account, and Facebook sends me sweet little love messages when I become more ambitious than they like. All I can say is, “C’est la vie.” Meekness isn’t a good quality in a marketer.
  7. Planning - Always researching and frequently reevaluating and refining my web marketing and branding plan. Flexibility must accompany social media and web marketing planning.
  8. Attitude - Persevering, staying upbeat and focusing, even when I didn’t feel like it, such as when my Dad passed away last year, or when my search engine traffic dipped during this past summer.
  9. Tools - Taking advantage of a variety of social media, SEO and web analytics tools.
  10. Widgets - Integrating social media with my blogs through using website widgets.

Thank you for partnering with me and helping me all these years with my social media and web marketing efforts. :-D

Share Your Social Media Strategies

What are your most successful strategies for building your social media and web presence?

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Larry BraunerThe Website Promotion Event on my Facebook page celebrating my birthday back in January was a successful networking event that went viral and attracted hundreds. Many people made important new connections during the January networking event.

What I’m Grateful For Networking Event

What I'm Grateful For Networking EventConsequently, I’m launching a series of themed networking events starting with What I’m Grateful For, this coming Wednesday the 13th on my Facebook page. Visit the event page to RSVP.

Books I’m Reading Networking Event

Books I'm Reading Networking EventRegistration is also open for Books I’m Reading, the following Wednesday, October 20th on the new Purple Umpkin Facebook page.

Future Networking Events

Networking Events on FacebookI’m planning additional networking events in this series, not only on my Facebook page and Purple Umpkin, but also on Business Structuring Diva, Proud Of My Mom, Real Estate Events and other Facebook pages.

Future networking events will be listed on the News tab of my Facebook business page and elsewhere.

Feel free to make suggestions for networking events by commenting on this article.

Promoting the Networking Events

The easiest ways to spread the word about these networking events if you care to are:

Join us at upcoming networking events, and if you’re new to my blog, please subscribe.

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Larry BraunerThis is a quick update on the Ning transition from free Ning networks to all paid networks. The deadline for upgrading free Ning networks had been set to August 20th, but Ning announced today that the deadline for choosing a price plan for your network is now extended until the 30th.

Ning Social NetworksYou might be able to use the additional time to devise a better Plan B. I plan to use the time to migrate more members from my old Ning networks to my new improved Ning network.

This my new Ning network, and I invite you to connect and network with me there:

Small Business Networking (Ning network for entrepreneurs and small businesses wherever they might be. Sign up there for the free social media marketing training.)

    You don’t need your own business to participate in my new Ning network.

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    Larry BraunerAugust 20th is here, and all free Ning networks go dark at midnight. Do you have a Ning network that’s not upgraded or belong to one? Are your Ning networks closing tonight?

    Ning network creators can, depending on quantity, archive all or part of their content from within the moderator area.

    Ning Social NetworksI’m closing a bunch of Ning networks but have recently launched a new Ning network to replace them.

    My new Ning network, for which I have ambitious and exciting plans is Small Business Networking (a Ning network serving entrepreneurs and small businesses worldwide). Sign up for the free social media marketing training to be offered on-site.

      You don’t need a business to participate in either network. You can gather business information, share ideas, search for a new job or do whatever else might make sense to you.

      If your Ning network is closing, you’re looking for better ways to brand yourself, or you simply desire to develop new skills, come to Small Business Networking.

      See you there. :)

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      Larry BraunerMembers of my two new business networking sites have started to implement their personal business networking strategies on each site. As a member of both, it’s fascinating to watch each site begin to develop a distinctive identity.

      NY Business Networking is regional in scope and therefore conducive to promoting offline events and arranging face-to-face meetings in the NYC Tri-State Area.

      Small Business Networking doesn’t have a geographical orientation and consequently seems better suited to blogging, on-site special interest groups and web-based instruction. I’m offering a free step-by-step social media training on this site, and you are welcome to enroll.

      Come sign up for either or both of my new business networking sites and join me at the grand opening party.

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      Larry BraunerThis is my final online event of the summer. I’m kicking my new business networking site with some fresh ideas, and you’re invited to the party.

      While I encourage you to join one my new site, you’ll also have to be a member of Facebook to participate in all the festivities.

      Here are six steps to follow (please read carefully):

      1. Start by joining Small Business Networking. If you can’t sign up, have a look at Ning Sign-Up Glitch Frustrates Users.
      2. Fill in your profile completely, including My Current Networking Objectives, which you’ll use when you introduce yourself at the event. Add a profile picture, avatar or logo. Picture are best, since people like to network with real people with real faces.
      3. Go to my Facebook business pagenot my profile page.
      4. Share the link to your new business profile. (If you join both sites, share one link one day and the other another day.) Include your current networking objectives in the comment area by pasting that information from your new business profile. (Enclose it in quotes if you like.) Press the share button, and your update will appear on my page.
      5. Now share that with your Facebook friends. Click on the share link, and write in the comment area why you joined a new site and ask your friends to connect with you there.
      6. Go back to my Facebook business page and visit with the other people who’ve posted there. You may want to add some of them as Facebook friends and friends on the new business site.

      New Business Networking Sites Grand Opening Party Watch for an announcement on Thursday about the party’s grand finale.

      If any of my instructions don’t make complete sense, I accept full responsibility. Sometimes (often?) I’m a bit too complicated. :(

      We can resolve any questions in the comment area of this blog post. See you at the party. Be there or be… :-P

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      Larry BraunerThe beta test of my new Ning business networking site has uncovered a troublesome glitch in the Ning sign- up system that makes it more difficult for new members to join.

      A new member trying to sign up gets a Ning error message rejecting the inputted password, even though the person has never even registered for the new site!

      What’s happening is that Ning recognizes the user’s email from when that person joined another Ning site at a time in the past, and now Ning expects the same password previously associated with that email.

      When new members can’t remember their old passwords, trouble begins, because every attempt to reset it will be unsuccessful. Registration hasn’t been completed, therefore the new site will be unable to reset the password. Catch-22!

      How to Deal with the Ning Problem

      Here are four ways to deal with the Ning glitch:

      1. Try very hard to remember or figure out your old password. You’ll be able to change it later.
      2. Try to register with an email address you’ve never ever used before on Ning.
      3. Reset your password at the Ning site. After resetting your password, ignore Ning’s invitation to set up a new site, and go directly to register for the site where you encountered the problem. Reset Your Ning Password ACCEPTED SOLUTION
      4. Wait who knows how long for Ning to fix the problem.

      My new business networking site is Small Business Networking, serving entrepreneurs and small businesses worldwide. You don’t need to have a business to join. You can join for getting business ideas, searching for a new job or whatever else might make sense.

      See you there, Ning permitting. :-P

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