Linked IN

I have been a member of the online networking site LinkedIn for several years but I wasn’t using it.  If someone invited me to join their network and I knew them – I would click and agree.  That was about it. Recently I decided to take a closer look and this appears to be a very useful networking platform to not only have your own network – but also to expand your network to new people who are in related professions, geographic area or who are related through your own contacts.

After you have your free registration – you login using your email address and password.  Your HOME page tracks recent activity – new connections you have made, links to people you might know – based on logic related to your profile contents, new connections that your network of people has made.

It is very easy to add new connections from your address book.  I was very leery of doing this as I dislike applications that take all your data and just blast out an email to everyone.  However I did a small test and it is very easy to use and lets you pick and choose who you will invite, add your own personalized messages – and you have a tracking page to see who has accepted your invitations, or any email addresses that didnt work.

If you haven’t tried it yet – it is worth a look.

View Denise Davies's profile on LinkedIn

Find Interest Groups

SunflowerThere are many social networks on the Internet. Try to find interest groups that meet in your geographic area. For example – you click on the tab for “Meetups by City” and you browse categories and topics that are interesting to you. In the listing it will show the number of people in any group. You can click on a group and find out their profile and activities and if you are interested you can signup for the group. There is no charge for joining groups. Some groups do ask that you send in your information before you will be joined as a member.

Then you can RSVP for specific group activities. This is a great way to meet people who share your same interests. These include professional interests such as business networking, social such as hiking or cooking, sports etc.

For your nonprofit promotion you can look for groups that might be interested in your organization. You can also setup your own meetup group.

Google Desktop – find your own files

Peaceful FernsHave you ever lost a file on your own computer? Or have you even forgotten that you wrote something in the past that would be useful for a current project?   Try Google Desktop.  It’s an amazing tool that you use to “google” your own computer. 

Go to Google and download the latest version of Google Desktop. It will take just a few minutes to download it to your computer and run the install process. Then you will have to reboot your computer.   After that, the Google Desktop will take several hours to index all the files on your computer. It will create an index of the words in your Word documents, Emails, Excel sheets, Powerpoint Presentations, PDF files, HTML pages and other data files.  This indexing process will go on whenever your computer is idle. After the initial index setup you won’t notice that this is happening.

The latest Google Desktop has several options – you can choose to have a sidebar with various “widgets” to display things like the weather, special links, photos, maps, news and a wide variety of other things to select from. You can choose to have a small deskbar that lets you search your computer from the taskbar at the bottom of your browser, or have a larger floating deskbar.   There are also short cuts such as hitting CTRL key 2 times to bring up a quick text search box which is handy when you are using other applications.  A small search box also will appear on your OUTLOOK that searched your emails much faster than the Outlook search function.

 I have found Google Desktop to be a real time saver.  I have used it on both IE 6 and IE 7 on a PC notebook.