Rob Cottingham's blog

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Surefire ways to send would-be LinkedIn contacts fleeing in terror

Cartoon: Have your people friend my people

A lot of virtual ink has been spilled on the subject of how to increase the size of your network on LinkedIn. And one of the best tips is to write a personal note to prospective LinkedIn connections, instead of relying on the soulless boilerplate default text.

Make it compelling, persuasive, charming and engaging. Remind your potential connection how they know you, and what your relationship means to you, like...

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From books to bits

SFU offers digital publishing workshop July 23-24 in Vancouver

Few industries have faced greater disruption from the digital revolution than publishing. From Craigslist's impact on newspapers' classified ad revenue, to the rise of e-books and the dominance of, huge changes are underway. And this is probably only the beginning; social media's influence has only just started to be felt.

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Tune up for the Folk Festival with Social Signal!

An iTunes playlist for the Vancouver Folk Festival - see you there!

Folk Festival playlist icons

Every summer, Social Signal gathers at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. And this year's lineup looks especially promising... but you don't have to take our word for it.

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The law is an RSS

LexPublica aims to bring open-source principles to the practice of law

LexPublica wordmark

Social media are often called a disruptive innovation: one that surprises markets and, often, threatens market leaders.

A few nights ago, at Vancouver's seventh Democamp (blogged wonderfully by Raul Pacheco here), I caught a glimpse of what may be the latest facet of that disruption.

It was nestled among a series of other fascinating demonstrations - including our friend Kris Krug's use of NetVibes as a personal media monitoring platform; Anahita, a Joomla-based social network platform; and BuddyPress, which turns WordPress MU into a social network. All very cool.

But the thing that really caught my attention was the upcoming service LexPublica.

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Welcome to the no-pitch zone

Make the most of your conference sponsorship

Salesman hawking product

Hey, you've sponsored a conference – good for you!

Chances are good you wanted to help these folks out, and support some productive conversation, learning and networking. Chances are also pretty good you want to get some benefit out of the sponsorship yourself with goodwill and exposure.

And when they said you'd have an opportunity to speak to the participants, you jumped at it. And you have a great 15-minute pitch carefully crafted by the folks in marketing, including a PowerPoint video that hits all the key selling points.

So why do you have this nagging feeling of impending disaster?

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No time to load fancy web graphics? Surf with loband

When broadband isn't available, loband comes to the rescue

Sometimes the niftiest tools are the ones that have been around for the longest time.

I just came across Aptivate's loband, a wonderfully handy web service that's been around since 2004. Loband lets you see highly-simplified versions of web pages, stripping out the fancy formatting and hefty graphics that can slow down users who don't have broadband Internet connections - mobile users, for instance, or people in developing countries.

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"Chicks Who Click" this Saturday in Vancouver

Chicks Who Click logo

Here's an event that looks terrific: a one-day conference in downtown Vancouver for women in social media.

The details:

Chicks Who Click, a conference and networking event for women engaging in social media, is expanding internationally and will host its next conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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Dare to be weak

When it comes to engagement, social media is the art of the possible

Running from social networks

I can't believe it!! Your organization isn't on Twitter? You don't have a Facebook page with discussion groups and a wall? You're not on MySpace, Bebo and FriendFeed?! OMFG, that's so weak! What are you thinking?!

Well, maybe you're thinking, "We don't have a large organization, and we have very few resources." Maybe you're thinking, "Some platforms make it easier to manage conversations than others." And maybe you're thinking, "I'm going to put our limited resources and finite attention where they'll do the most good."

You know what? Good for you.

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Dear audience: Thanks for watching. You're fired.

Five ways a cancelled TV series can keep faith with its audience

Dead terminator robot

A few weeks ago, Alex and I got bad news: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles was being cancelled. And not just cancelled: the production studio isn't even shopping it around. (In Terminator terms, this is like pulling the chip out of the show's skull and incinerating it.)

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Crawling from the wreckage

Five social media lessons for avoiding disaster

Please don't demolish my house

I like to think there are lessons to be had from even the oddest event.

Take today's "holy-crap!" story currently making the rounds of the digital watercoolers: that poor guy in Georgia whose house was torn down by mistake. Reports say the demolition crew went to the wrong location, reducing a half-century-old brick house to rubble.

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Work Smarter with Evernote

Get more out of Evernote with Alexandra Samuel's great new ebook, the first in the Harvard Business Press Work Smarter with Social Media series!

Available on Amazon, iTunes and HBR.

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