Social Networking: Such is the Way With Asshats and Defending Your Honor

asshats and honorA recent lunch with a colleague prompted a line that rang oh-so-true: “I spend an inordinate amount of time cleaning-up the mess that a previous firm has left behind.”

Such is the way with asshats and defending your honor. I run into the same situation repeatedly, and this week, I’m taking aim.

I spend an inordinate amount of time hanging out and chatting with folks just like me – consultants. Small business owners. The fact that we’re not of epic proportion doesn’t mean we don’t bring value – it just means we foot the bill for our own health insurance. But there are people in my own backyard that ooze their smarm and I’m sick of it.

Check out this dude. According to his LinkedIn profile, he’s been an “expert” on LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter since 1990.

Ummm…Yeah. Here’s the thing: YouTube was launched in 2005, LinkedIn launched in 2003 and Twitter in 2006.

He’s keyword stuffing, obviously, but it reeks of douche-tastic overtones.

This guy is in my own backyard here in Denver, Colorado. Ew, ew, ew. If you’re going to put yourself out there as a LinkedIn and social media expert, Mike – can I give you a few tips?

  • Do your research and don’t establish yourself as an expert in a field before the field or platform…even existed.
  • Don’t have a Twitter stream that filled with 90% broadcast-only messaging. Twitter and social media are places for conversations. Or do you charge people for that tasty nugget of knowledge?
  • It’s awesome you’ve “figured out” LinkedIn and self-published a book on the subject. After reading your profile, I”m tempted to self-publish a book on the top 10 worst LinkedIn profiles with yours at the top as an example of self-indulgent keyword stuffing in bogus job fields. Fail, my good man. Fail.
  • Really – you charge between $1,500 and $10,000 to show folks how to set up social media profiles, a basic WordPress blog (kinda like yours here, hosted ON WordPress.com?), and create Twitter & Facebook pages? Holy hell. Remind me to raise my prices, m’kay?

The reality is this: these people exist. How do you defend your honor against the asshats? Here are a few tips:

  • References. If you’re like me and the identity of your clients is often confidential, let your prospective clients know that and offer to connect them with your clients confidentially.
  • Best Practices. Follow them. Don’t be an expert – be a continual and willing student. Social media is a slippery slope and the best you can do is develop a solid knowledge base that’s going to morph (and delightfully so) with every footstep.
  • Know Who You Are. You’re not going to be everything to everyone. Align yourself with those who cook what you can’t.
  • Know Your Shit. In the end, only you can win a client. Clients will buy what they’re willing to be sold. I get clients day in, day out who were sold a bill of goods and then realize things aren’t working. I understand. It’s then we get to work setting them in the right direction.

There is no business that’s purely a number game. Twitter followers, Facebook fans, LinkedIn connections…they’re numbers, pure and simple. What you choose to DO with your network is one thing. How you choose to BUILD it is another. And here’s a hint – if you don’t do one of them properly, then the time you spent on the other is worth…well, jack.

PS: Check out an excellent read about competitors by @ShellyKramer – because really, Mike – I don’t want you to change a thing.

Have an outrageous Monday!

124 replies
  1. Mike O'Neil
    Mike O'Neil says:

    As a true expert in this space, I happen to know that the only way to order the jobs on LinkedIn is to mess with the start dates. I guess you didn't know that or this post would not have happened. My book, Rock the World with your Online Presence, is the ONLY book in the world that even uses the new user interface. These and other answers you need are in it.

    LinkedIn is working on a sort ordering feature and my contacts there say it will be later in the year, after the InBox updates are rolled out. Until then, one must mess with the dates like this or have the most insignificant jobs (like side jobs) appear first sometimes.

    Search engine optimization is another matter and this shows how LinkedIn best handles things. Other LinkedIn SEO experts put the same words, like LinkedIn Trainer, 50 times in a row and I won’t go for that.

    With 10,000 hours of dedicated Social Media experience, 400 LinkedIn trainings given to 10,000 people and a hot LinkedIn book, I can say a few things and point out a few things that others simply can’t.

    Reply
  2. Mike O'Neil
    Mike O'Neil says:

    As a true expert in this space, I happen to know that the only way to order the jobs on LinkedIn is to mess with the start dates. I guess you didn't know that or this post would not have happened. My book, Rock the World with your Online Presence, is the ONLY book in the world that even uses the new user interface. These and other answers you need are in it.

    LinkedIn is working on a sort ordering feature and my contacts there say it will be later in the year, after the InBox updates are rolled out. Until then, one must mess with the dates like this or have the most insignificant jobs (like side jobs) appear first sometimes.

    Search engine optimization is another matter and this shows how LinkedIn best handles things. Other LinkedIn SEO experts put the same words, like LinkedIn Trainer, 50 times in a row and I won’t go for that.

    With 10,000 hours of dedicated Social Media experience, 400 LinkedIn trainings given to 10,000 people and a hot LinkedIn book, I can say a few things and point out a few things that others simply can’t.

    Reply
  3. The Redhead
    The Redhead says:

    Actually, Mike – you're keyword stuffing. Plain and simple. You're gaming a space so that your profile is not an accurate representation of your work. You don't even address the fact that you place yourself as an expert in the space over TEN YEARS before platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube even came online.

    This post happened because your profile and statements you make in your profile are ludicrous. NOT because I'm not a “LinkedIn expert” like you. BTW – way to use my blog to promote your book. Another douche-tastic example of poor social media behavior.

    And for the record, true SEO experts don't practice keyword stuffing. Keyword density is a huge trigger for SE's to blacklist sites. Way to talk about something you know nothing about 🙂 And you have, indeed, done exactly what you said you didn't do – you've created fake positions in LinkedIn in order to tout your purported expertise through keyword stuffing. If your positions and experience can't speak for themselves, then perhaps you don't need to be advertising them.

    A book does not an “expert” make, m'dear! Why don't you rely on your hours, sessions and attendees to speak for your experience? You seem to be VERY tied to them.

    Reply
  4. The Redhead
    The Redhead says:

    Actually, Mike – you're keyword stuffing. Plain and simple. You're gaming a space so that your profile is not an accurate representation of your work. You don't even address the fact that you place yourself as an expert in the space over TEN YEARS before platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube even came online.

    This post happened because your profile and statements you make in your profile are ludicrous. NOT because I'm not a “LinkedIn expert” like you. BTW – way to use my blog to promote your book. Another douche-tastic example of poor social media behavior.

    And for the record, true SEO experts don't practice keyword stuffing. Keyword density is a huge trigger for SE's to blacklist sites. Way to talk about something you know nothing about 🙂 And you have, indeed, done exactly what you said you didn't do – you've created fake positions in LinkedIn in order to tout your purported expertise through keyword stuffing. If your positions and experience can't speak for themselves, then perhaps you don't need to be advertising them.

    A book does not an “expert” make, m'dear! Why don't you rely on your hours, sessions and attendees to speak for your experience? You seem to be VERY tied to them.

    Reply
  5. Elisa Hebert
    Elisa Hebert says:

    You know, Mike, I've gotta go with Erika on this one.

    Your LinkedIn profile is daunting in length – any web professional will tell you to cut, cut, cut (you might want to pick up a copy of Letting Go of the Words – it's good stuff.)

    Your profile tells me a few things:

    1. You think you're REALLY important. (And perhaps you are.)
    2. You're totally keyword stuffing – otherwise, your titles wouldn't be so long. Never mind the examples in the post above.
    3. You've got a lot of friends – nice for you.
    4. You've traded a lot of recommendations.

    Now, to be fair, maybe you are an awesome guy. Maybe you do light up a room. But in my experience, those whose lights burn brightest don't have to scream it from rooftops.

    But it does just seem like a whole lot of navel-gazing, and to be honest, I find that boring. If you're awesome, your work will speak for itself. And maybe it does – I can't say as I have not read your book – and I can't really get past the noise and the marketing spiel on your site or your LinkedIn profile to find out if you really do rock, or you just like to think you do.

    My sincere hope is that you do – rock, that is – the world needs more awesome folks helping each other. The folks *I* think rock the most (full disclosure, Erika is in the top set of that list) – have earned that status with consistency and authenticity.

    With both of us in the Denver area, maybe we'll meet IRL one day and I'll have the opportunity to find out if you're more than just marketing spiel. In fact, I look forward to that potential.

    Reply
  6. Elisa Hebert
    Elisa Hebert says:

    You know, Mike, I've gotta go with Erika on this one.

    Your LinkedIn profile is daunting in length – any web professional will tell you to cut, cut, cut (you might want to pick up a copy of Letting Go of the Words – it's good stuff.)

    Your profile tells me a few things:

    1. You think you're REALLY important. (And perhaps you are.)
    2. You're totally keyword stuffing – otherwise, your titles wouldn't be so long. Never mind the examples in the post above.
    3. You've got a lot of friends – nice for you.
    4. You've traded a lot of recommendations.

    Now, to be fair, maybe you are an awesome guy. Maybe you do light up a room. But in my experience, those whose lights burn brightest don't have to scream it from rooftops.

    But it does just seem like a whole lot of navel-gazing, and to be honest, I find that boring. If you're awesome, your work will speak for itself. And maybe it does – I can't say as I have not read your book – and I can't really get past the noise and the marketing spiel on your site or your LinkedIn profile to find out if you really do rock, or you just like to think you do.

    My sincere hope is that you do – rock, that is – the world needs more awesome folks helping each other. The folks *I* think rock the most (full disclosure, Erika is in the top set of that list) – have earned that status with consistency and authenticity.

    With both of us in the Denver area, maybe we'll meet IRL one day and I'll have the opportunity to find out if you're more than just marketing spiel. In fact, I look forward to that potential.

    Reply
  7. The Redhead
    The Redhead says:

    Elisa – thanks for stopping by and for the kudos. Kudos aside, I think you make an incredibly valuable point (one I missed iterating): lights that burn brightest speak for themselves.

    Thanks for that add!

    Reply
  8. The Redhead
    The Redhead says:

    Elisa – thanks for stopping by and for the kudos. Kudos aside, I think you make an incredibly valuable point (one I missed iterating): lights that burn brightest speak for themselves.

    Thanks for that add!

    Reply
  9. Mike Stenger
    Mike Stenger says:

    Ooo, burn. I understand where you're coming from Erika. Makes one really wonder what these people are thinking. Definitely agree with your points. Like I shared in a recent video:

    “You don't become an expert by knowing, you become an expert by DOING. If you're not getting consistent results for others or have the proof to back it up, you're not an expert.”

    Also, I believe that in order to be called a true expert, there has to be more than just 1 or 2 testimonials from people saying you are 😉

    Reply
  10. Mike Stenger
    Mike Stenger says:

    Ooo, burn. I understand where you're coming from Erika. Makes one really wonder what these people are thinking. Definitely agree with your points. Like I shared in a recent video:

    “You don't become an expert by knowing, you become an expert by DOING. If you're not getting consistent results for others or have the proof to back it up, you're not an expert.”

    Also, I believe that in order to be called a true expert, there has to be more than just 1 or 2 testimonials from people saying you are 😉

    Reply
  11. Mr_Puck
    Mr_Puck says:

    Mike, just an fyi… KW stuffing is so 1998. If you really want to SEO the profile, strip it down, use titles that people actually search for and then get some links into the profile using anchor text that closely matches the title.

    Reply
  12. Mr_Puck
    Mr_Puck says:

    Mike, just an fyi… KW stuffing is so 1998. If you really want to SEO the profile, strip it down, use titles that people actually search for and then get some links into the profile using anchor text that closely matches the title.

    Reply
  13. The Redhead
    The Redhead says:

    Funny – that's what I thought. So Mike's wrong, right? 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by! SEO is an entirely different post as well – working on something in that realm. Stay tuned!

    Reply
  14. The Redhead
    The Redhead says:

    Funny – that's what I thought. So Mike's wrong, right? 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by! SEO is an entirely different post as well – working on something in that realm. Stay tuned!

    Reply
  15. lomifeh
    lomifeh says:

    Reminds me of the resumes I get sometimes where the programmer has known Java since 1993 or so. I was released in 1995. I would joke that they must have been part of the developer team that created it.

    Reply
  16. lomifeh
    lomifeh says:

    Reminds me of the resumes I get sometimes where the programmer has known Java since 1993 or so. I was released in 1995. I would joke that they must have been part of the developer team that created it.

    Reply
  17. lomifeh
    lomifeh says:

    Back when I did SEO in 98-99 even then we were phasing it out. It was becoming about relationships even that early. This guy seems like a true Social Media Douchebag<tm>.

    Reply
  18. lomifeh
    lomifeh says:

    Back when I did SEO in 98-99 even then we were phasing it out. It was becoming about relationships even that early. This guy seems like a true Social Media Douchebag<tm>.

    Reply
  19. Stephen
    Stephen says:

    “To liven things up, we took the book in a rock and roll direction, still aimed at teh classic rockj crowd.”

    Apparently he's knot just an asshat, he's aslo an exprt at poor speling and grammer. I mite have to hirej him.

    Reply
  20. Viveka von Rosen
    Viveka von Rosen says:

    Bahahahahaha
    I used to be engaged to the dufus 🙂
    You are soooooooooo awesome!
    Thanks for doing this.
    I love you all over again 🙂

    Reply
  21. D.T. Pennington
    D.T. Pennington says:

    I especially like how he has 8 different schools listed, but no hint as to what his areas of study were, or if he ever graduated. And the 200+ “recommendations”? My guess: He paid a teacher to have her sixth grade class make a bunch of profiles that “recommend” him.

    Makes me want to rewrite my whole profile so I can be just like him!

    Reply
  22. D.T. Pennington
    D.T. Pennington says:

    I especially like how he has 8 different schools listed, but no hint as to what his areas of study were, or if he ever graduated. And the 200+ “recommendations”? My guess: He paid a teacher to have her sixth grade class make a bunch of profiles that “recommend” him.

    Makes me want to rewrite my whole profile so I can be just like him!

    Reply
  23. D.T. Pennington
    D.T. Pennington says:

    “With 10,000 hours of dedicated Social Media experience, 400 LinkedIn trainings given to 10,000 people and a hot LinkedIn book, I can say a few things and point out a few things that others simply can’t.”

    I can point out a few things that others simply cant as well. Like when someone misses the bowl. Or the presence of a dead cat.

    Reply
  24. Mike O'Neil
    Mike O'Neil says:

    Would 250+ testimonials from people that have taken one of my 400+ LinkedIn trainings qualify me as an expert. That is DOING trainings in front of a live audience, not just creating PPT's. I probably endorsed back 10 or 15 worthy souls. I thought that the number of recommendations showed pretty clearly on my profile. I'd better go back and check on that.

    Reply
  25. Mike O'Neil
    Mike O'Neil says:

    Would 250+ testimonials from people that have taken one of my 400+ LinkedIn trainings qualify me as an expert. That is DOING trainings in front of a live audience, not just creating PPT's. I probably endorsed back 10 or 15 worthy souls. I thought that the number of recommendations showed pretty clearly on my profile. I'd better go back and check on that.

    Reply
  26. Sarah_Gore
    Sarah_Gore says:

    I bet most people do just what I would do if I ran across his LinkedIn profile: Keep moving.

    I would; however, be interested to see what sorts of people do stop, read and actaully contact him.

    Ugh.

    Reply
  27. Sarah_Gore
    Sarah_Gore says:

    I bet most people do just what I would do if I ran across his LinkedIn profile: Keep moving.

    I would; however, be interested to see what sorts of people do stop, read and actaully contact him.

    Ugh.

    Reply
  28. Vincent Lowe
    Vincent Lowe says:

    …I think it's supposed to be “As a True Expert in this space…” or perhaps “True Expert(tm) in this space” 🙂

    I have the same reaction this comment as I do when I meet a federal worker who stands on their 24 years of experience of doing a job (wrong).

    From your claim, I only have the sensation of “10,000 people” who've been led astray.

    An excellent presence on LinkedIn is not about polluting the information space in order to appear “at the top” of something. It's about presenting a credible, informative presence so that people can tell who you are and measure your veracity.

    On second thought, you have given an accurate picture of who you are and about the value of your advice.

    On second-second thought, I'm ignoring my own advice about not openly thwacking others in the back of the head online.

    Never mind — just keep doing what you do man!

    —v

    Reply
  29. Vincent Lowe
    Vincent Lowe says:

    …I think it's supposed to be “As a True Expert in this space…” or perhaps “True Expert(tm) in this space” 🙂

    I have the same reaction this comment as I do when I meet a federal worker who stands on their 24 years of experience of doing a job (wrong).

    From your claim, I only have the sensation of “10,000 people” who've been led astray.

    An excellent presence on LinkedIn is not about polluting the information space in order to appear “at the top” of something. It's about presenting a credible, informative presence so that people can tell who you are and measure your veracity.

    On second thought, you have given an accurate picture of who you are and about the value of your advice.

    On second-second thought, I'm ignoring my own advice about not openly thwacking others in the back of the head online.

    Never mind — just keep doing what you do man!

    —v

    Reply
  30. Mike Stenger
    Mike Stenger says:

    You have a good point Mike. I was merely giving my opinion on what I believe an expert is and didn't happen to look at your recommendations. Congrats on the testimonials and your success

    Reply
  31. Mike Stenger
    Mike Stenger says:

    You have a good point Mike. I was merely giving my opinion on what I believe an expert is and didn't happen to look at your recommendations. Congrats on the testimonials and your success

    Reply
  32. Mike O'Neil
    Mike O'Neil says:

    With so many bullets flying it's an interesting wild wild west saloon to enter into here. As an active social media instructor, speaker and author, you have to push the edges. You get spanked once in a while. All social media leaders have at one time or another.

    My profile isn’t for anyone but me. It is part of an active R&D project. I don’t tell anybody to have a 60 page LinkedIn profile like mine. Don't do it! 10-15 recommendations should be enough (my 263 recommendations come from my many classes and presentation make it longer).

    Here is the reason for the dates many of you seem to be hung up on: Since you can't reorder job positions in a profile, one has to mess with the start dates to put “positions” in the order you want them to appear. It's a LinkedIn shortcoming. There are often reasons to do workarounds on so our profiles feature the most relevant positions at the top. e.g. a job seeker wants his professional job experience to appear above the temp work at the Home Depot. Hence the date adjustments. I made them ridiculous so nobody would take them seriously. Guess I was wrong about that.

    Thank you for helping me develop new insights into best practice on this. It isn't perfect and I know LinkedIn will fix this problem, probably this year. To be more accurate, I put some clarification text in each job posting where the dates are adjusted for placement. It's a good idea. Looks like this now:

    TRUE DATES: 2006 – PRESENT

    Reply
  33. Mike O'Neil
    Mike O'Neil says:

    With so many bullets flying it's an interesting wild wild west saloon to enter into here. As an active social media instructor, speaker and author, you have to push the edges. You get spanked once in a while. All social media leaders have at one time or another.

    My profile isn’t for anyone but me. It is part of an active R&D project. I don’t tell anybody to have a 60 page LinkedIn profile like mine. Don't do it! 10-15 recommendations should be enough (my 263 recommendations come from my many classes and presentation make it longer).

    Here is the reason for the dates many of you seem to be hung up on: Since you can't reorder job positions in a profile, one has to mess with the start dates to put “positions” in the order you want them to appear. It's a LinkedIn shortcoming. There are often reasons to do workarounds on so our profiles feature the most relevant positions at the top. e.g. a job seeker wants his professional job experience to appear above the temp work at the Home Depot. Hence the date adjustments. I made them ridiculous so nobody would take them seriously. Guess I was wrong about that.

    Thank you for helping me develop new insights into best practice on this. It isn't perfect and I know LinkedIn will fix this problem, probably this year. To be more accurate, I put some clarification text in each job posting where the dates are adjusted for placement. It's a good idea. Looks like this now:

    TRUE DATES: 2006 – PRESENT

    Reply
  34. Roger Paige
    Roger Paige says:

    Twitter writer? It's 140 characters! Could you imaging writing Gone With The Wind with tweets?

    I do however have a question for the Facebook authority: how do I get more farkle chips?

    Reply
  35. Roger Paige
    Roger Paige says:

    Twitter writer? It's 140 characters! Could you imaging writing Gone With The Wind with tweets?

    I do however have a question for the Facebook authority: how do I get more farkle chips?

    Reply
  36. Mike O'Neil
    Mike O'Neil says:

    The Job Titles fields in my LinkedIn profile are carefully crafted and are probably set this way for some time, although there is always a lot of room for feedback.

    I indeed do all those vs. just putting them in here. Still, LinkedIn is my main bag as you can tell. Until LinkedIn has a matching service for job titles like it does for first names, this will be necessary and a best practice.

    The “responder” has to match up to the “requestor” so to say, sometimes exactly and in a certain order and sometimes not.

    Reply
  37. Mike O'Neil
    Mike O'Neil says:

    The Job Titles fields in my LinkedIn profile are carefully crafted and are probably set this way for some time, although there is always a lot of room for feedback.

    I indeed do all those vs. just putting them in here. Still, LinkedIn is my main bag as you can tell. Until LinkedIn has a matching service for job titles like it does for first names, this will be necessary and a best practice.

    The “responder” has to match up to the “requestor” so to say, sometimes exactly and in a certain order and sometimes not.

    Reply
  38. timeforcake creative
    timeforcake creative says:

    Oh dear GOD we would have had an absolute *field day* with this fellow back in my undergrad abnormal pscyh class.

    I must being by confessing that the whole “my Linked In profile isn't for anyone but me” statement struck me as a bit fishy in consideration of all the time Mike has spent defending his actions about said profile here.

    In my eyes, though, the saddest component of all of Mike's writings and bravado is the desperate clinging to his talks/books as proof that he's an expert.

    – Logic lession #1: Being a speaker doesn't make you an expert.
    I've been to talks where audience members have walked out on the speakers. I've been to talks at the local community center where a large number of people showed up–for the free refreshments and raffle prizes. There was a talk given by a local “Web and Internet Marketing” company in my area, a talk that many business owners attended — but the talk itself (which can be watched on YouTube but I'll spare you the link) is painful and embarrassing to watch–and filled with information that the laypeople couldn't have possibly known was bad news.

    Logic Lesson #2 – The fact that you have a book does not make you an expert. To prove this, I'll pick up the 2010 “Complete Guide” website book I have sitting here on my desk and pull a few random phrases out of it.

    Here you go, direct quotes:

    “If you have large image files on your site, you are driving away Web site visitors … image file sizes should be no larger than 20kb … and pixels are sized in KB or MB.”
    and –
    “It is essential to regularly submit your Web site details to Web directories and engines”
    and –
    “The content on your Web page is what visitors are going to read when they find your site and start to browse your Web pages.” (illuminating!!)

    I can't help but wonder how many web designers/developers out there would confirm that yes, the author of this book is an EXPERT. You know. Because he had a book published.

    My partner can cook better than many chefs out there. I can snowboard better than many snowboard instructors on the mountain. Copywriters like Erika can compose more effective, impactful prose far better than a helluv a lot of newspaper columnists that could probably pull out the I've-written-thousands-of-articles-in-my-life,-read-by-tens-of-thousands-of-readers card.

    IT DOESN'T MATTER. Just like the telemarketers that have business cards reading “Senior Executive Sales Professional”, your titles, talks, and book just do not matter.

    Where oh where are your results?? Why are you bragging about titles and numbers and followers and connections — tell us about the results you've achieved! The money you've made for your clients! The cost savings you've helped businesses realize. Tell us — we're here, we're your captive audience, we're ready to listen, we're ready to be humbled and silenced, we're dying to know!

    Show us how badass you are; we're open-minded people here, all passionate about our industry, about learning, about sharing experiences. Show us what you got! What you've done! What we can learn from you! (I know it's probably all spelled out in your book, but for god's sakes, man, give us just a lil' taste and leave us salivating for more!)

    —-

    After writing all this and then going back and reading through Mike's comments again, I couldn't help but wonder if maybe–just maybe–he's simply engaging in more “R & D” here and we're nothing more than his subjects. Perhaps his pompous act is just testing us to see how people in the social mediasphere react to different stimuli–and he's just grinning and collecting our comments/data in preparation for publishing his conclusions in his next book which I'm of course certain will be hitting our local Barnes & Noble stores soon.

    Reply
  39. timeforcake creative
    timeforcake creative says:

    Oh dear GOD we would have had an absolute *field day* with this fellow back in my undergrad abnormal pscyh class.

    I must being by confessing that the whole “my Linked In profile isn't for anyone but me” statement struck me as a bit fishy in consideration of all the time Mike has spent defending his actions about said profile here.

    In my eyes, though, the saddest component of all of Mike's writings and bravado is the desperate clinging to his talks/books as proof that he's an expert.

    – Logic lession #1: Being a speaker doesn't make you an expert.
    I've been to talks where audience members have walked out on the speakers. I've been to talks at the local community center where a large number of people showed up–for the free refreshments and raffle prizes. There was a talk given by a local “Web and Internet Marketing” company in my area, a talk that many business owners attended — but the talk itself (which can be watched on YouTube but I'll spare you the link) is painful and embarrassing to watch–and filled with information that the laypeople couldn't have possibly known was bad news.

    Logic Lesson #2 – The fact that you have a book does not make you an expert. To prove this, I'll pick up the 2010 “Complete Guide” website book I have sitting here on my desk and pull a few random phrases out of it.

    Here you go, direct quotes:

    “If you have large image files on your site, you are driving away Web site visitors … image file sizes should be no larger than 20kb … and pixels are sized in KB or MB.”
    and –
    “It is essential to regularly submit your Web site details to Web directories and engines”
    and –
    “The content on your Web page is what visitors are going to read when they find your site and start to browse your Web pages.” (illuminating!!)

    I can't help but wonder how many web designers/developers out there would confirm that yes, the author of this book is an EXPERT. You know. Because he had a book published.

    My partner can cook better than many chefs out there. I can snowboard better than many snowboard instructors on the mountain. Copywriters like Erika can compose more effective, impactful prose far better than a helluv a lot of newspaper columnists that could probably pull out the I've-written-thousands-of-articles-in-my-life,-read-by-tens-of-thousands-of-readers card.

    IT DOESN'T MATTER. Just like the telemarketers that have business cards reading “Senior Executive Sales Professional”, your titles, talks, and book just do not matter.

    Where oh where are your results?? Why are you bragging about titles and numbers and followers and connections — tell us about the results you've achieved! The money you've made for your clients! The cost savings you've helped businesses realize. Tell us — we're here, we're your captive audience, we're ready to listen, we're ready to be humbled and silenced, we're dying to know!

    Show us how badass you are; we're open-minded people here, all passionate about our industry, about learning, about sharing experiences. Show us what you got! What you've done! What we can learn from you! (I know it's probably all spelled out in your book, but for god's sakes, man, give us just a lil' taste and leave us salivating for more!)

    —-

    After writing all this and then going back and reading through Mike's comments again, I couldn't help but wonder if maybe–just maybe–he's simply engaging in more “R & D” here and we're nothing more than his subjects. Perhaps his pompous act is just testing us to see how people in the social mediasphere react to different stimuli–and he's just grinning and collecting our comments/data in preparation for publishing his conclusions in his next book which I'm of course certain will be hitting our local Barnes & Noble stores soon.

    Reply
  40. ShellyKramer
    ShellyKramer says:

    Erika, in my world experts don't say, they just do. They don't claim, they just prove. They don't boast, they just deliver. I have encountered numerous situations like this one and, like you, I am all too often asked to come in and clean up the mess that “experts” have left behind for unsuspecting clients.

    I cringe when someone refers to me as an “expert” – at anything – because it's just such an unnecessary (not to mention tragically overused) word. And when it comes to the realm of social mediums, what so many self-proclaimed “experts” are overlooking is that we are ALL newbies when it comes to this space. And we are ALL learning as we go. In my most humble opinion, the most beautiful thing about this world of new media is its transparency.

    And that, my dear girl is what bit Mr. O'Neill in the butt. The transparency issue. If you're going to have the audacity to call yourself an expert, you must act the part of one. And broadcasting, keyword stuffing and incessantly extolling your own virtues are, without question, not the way that experts comport themselves.

    Mike, I was “introduced” to you through a mutual friend, Bob Smith. I spent a fair amount time studying your interaction in the social media realm and was disappointed to mostly find you engaged in the business of self-promotion. I am in Denver often. And am lucky enough to collaborate with The Redhead, whom I think brilliant, on many an occasion. My hope is that some time our paths will cross and I'll have the chance to meet you IRL and find that you are, absent the ego trip, actually a nice guy.

    Until then, I have to agree with Erika. Forrest's mom said: “Stupid is as stupid does,” and in that same vein —> expert is as expert does. And, as a natural evolution, keyword stuffer is as keyword stuffer does. Behave like a true expert and you won't have to sing your own praises, others will gladly do so. And one million LinkedIn recommendations do not count. Those recommendations are about as credible as a reference on an old-time resume …. not very.

    Better to just be genuine. And remember that social media is about the being social part, not about the “me me me” part.

    Erika, thanks as always, for a lovely read. Mike, pull your head out – you're clearly in too deep.

    Shelly Kramer
    @shellykramer

    Author of Zero Books, Expert at Nothing, Occasionally Good at Making People Laugh, Can Be Counted on For Quick Repartee, 10,000 of Dedicated Experience Wasting Time on Twitter, Friend of Many, Lover of All.

    Reply
  41. ShellyKramer
    ShellyKramer says:

    Erika, in my world experts don't say, they just do. They don't claim, they just prove. They don't boast, they just deliver. I have encountered numerous situations like this one and, like you, I am all too often asked to come in and clean up the mess that “experts” have left behind for unsuspecting clients.

    I cringe when someone refers to me as an “expert” – at anything – because it's just such an unnecessary (not to mention tragically overused) word. And when it comes to the realm of social mediums, what so many self-proclaimed “experts” are overlooking is that we are ALL newbies when it comes to this space. And we are ALL learning as we go. In my most humble opinion, the most beautiful thing about this world of new media is its transparency.

    And that, my dear girl is what bit Mr. O'Neill in the butt. The transparency issue. If you're going to have the audacity to call yourself an expert, you must act the part of one. And broadcasting, keyword stuffing and incessantly extolling your own virtues are, without question, not the way that experts comport themselves.

    Mike, I was “introduced” to you through a mutual friend, Bob Smith. I spent a fair amount time studying your interaction in the social media realm and was disappointed to mostly find you engaged in the business of self-promotion. I am in Denver often. And am lucky enough to collaborate with The Redhead, whom I think brilliant, on many an occasion. My hope is that some time our paths will cross and I'll have the chance to meet you IRL and find that you are, absent the ego trip, actually a nice guy.

    Until then, I have to agree with Erika. Forrest's mom said: “Stupid is as stupid does,” and in that same vein —> expert is as expert does. And, as a natural evolution, keyword stuffer is as keyword stuffer does. Behave like a true expert and you won't have to sing your own praises, others will gladly do so. And one million LinkedIn recommendations do not count. Those recommendations are about as credible as a reference on an old-time resume …. not very.

    Better to just be genuine. And remember that social media is about the being social part, not about the “me me me” part.

    Erika, thanks as always, for a lovely read. Mike, pull your head out – you're clearly in too deep.

    Shelly Kramer
    @shellykramer

    Author of Zero Books, Expert at Nothing, Occasionally Good at Making People Laugh, Can Be Counted on For Quick Repartee, 10,000 of Dedicated Experience Wasting Time on Twitter, Friend of Many, Lover of All.

    Reply
  42. ashleyekingsley
    ashleyekingsley says:

    I really appreciate what Erika has written; one of the most outspoken women I have ever met.

    Mike has been a Denver staple for a long time. The first time I met him he showed up at 'Denver Divas' event in 2006 – an ALL women's networking event. That left a big impression… not so minty fresh.

    Mike is a hard worker. He knows a lot of people. He networks well and does teach a lot of LinkedIn seminars. I sat in one of Mike's classes in 2006. I was underwhelmed by the class – however – I had already been a LinkedIn user (not abuser), prior.

    I agree that Mike should not keyword stuff or talk about being a Twitter expert since 1990. That made me spit my diet coke out all over Doyle. It's unbecoming to fabricate ones talent. I have often wanted to share with Mike that it isn't about numbers or followers or recommendations – it is about results. Thanks to Erin for also driving this home @timeforcake – What are the results?

    If your talented – people know. Mike has worked hard to make a name for himself – and he has. Good, bad and indifferent.

    What is brilliant about today – is that Erika called it out. Often, I have wanted to have the BALLS to say 'Hey Mike, scale back a bit bud, your full of shit.' Or, pipe down, your ego just got in a fight with itself.' But, I have never had the balls. I admire Mike for having a non-stop ego. Maybe that's what drives him. I admire Erika for always calling it like it is. And I value the conversation here.

    Mike – don't bullshit – the people in the social media space that have been here for a while, know the bullshit – and know the type. It is a small, small world. Just do what you do well. Leave the expert Twitter writer to, um, well – that's a loss. But, really, stick with LinkedIn. Keep it up! DO great work.

    Erika, thanks for your transparency, as always. Mike, seriously – this is all very real and very true. Be good, man. Let others decide if you rock – instead of telling everyone you rock. Because if you have to tell people you (fill in the blank) you probably don’t.

    I just wanted to be Switzerland – but this pushed me to, well, Venezuela.

    Reply
  43. ashleyekingsley
    ashleyekingsley says:

    I really appreciate what Erika has written; one of the most outspoken women I have ever met.

    Mike has been a Denver staple for a long time. The first time I met him he showed up at 'Denver Divas' event in 2006 – an ALL women's networking event. That left a big impression… not so minty fresh.

    Mike is a hard worker. He knows a lot of people. He networks well and does teach a lot of LinkedIn seminars. I sat in one of Mike's classes in 2006. I was underwhelmed by the class – however – I had already been a LinkedIn user (not abuser), prior.

    I agree that Mike should not keyword stuff or talk about being a Twitter expert since 1990. That made me spit my diet coke out all over Doyle. It's unbecoming to fabricate ones talent. I have often wanted to share with Mike that it isn't about numbers or followers or recommendations – it is about results. Thanks to Erin for also driving this home @timeforcake – What are the results?

    If your talented – people know. Mike has worked hard to make a name for himself – and he has. Good, bad and indifferent.

    What is brilliant about today – is that Erika called it out. Often, I have wanted to have the BALLS to say 'Hey Mike, scale back a bit bud, your full of shit.' Or, pipe down, your ego just got in a fight with itself.' But, I have never had the balls. I admire Mike for having a non-stop ego. Maybe that's what drives him. I admire Erika for always calling it like it is. And I value the conversation here.

    Mike – don't bullshit – the people in the social media space that have been here for a while, know the bullshit – and know the type. It is a small, small world. Just do what you do well. Leave the expert Twitter writer to, um, well – that's a loss. But, really, stick with LinkedIn. Keep it up! DO great work.

    Erika, thanks for your transparency, as always. Mike, seriously – this is all very real and very true. Be good, man. Let others decide if you rock – instead of telling everyone you rock. Because if you have to tell people you (fill in the blank) you probably don’t.

    I just wanted to be Switzerland – but this pushed me to, well, Venezuela.

    Reply
  44. Darren
    Darren says:

    “Don’t be an expert – be a continual and willing student.”

    That pretty much says it all. My other favorite saying (can't remember who said it):

    “Some people have twenty years experience. Other people have one year of experience twenty times in a row.”

    Asshat consultants…grr….

    Reply
  45. Darren
    Darren says:

    “Don’t be an expert – be a continual and willing student.”

    That pretty much says it all. My other favorite saying (can't remember who said it):

    “Some people have twenty years experience. Other people have one year of experience twenty times in a row.”

    Asshat consultants…grr….

    Reply
  46. The Redhead
    The Redhead says:

    Here's where I have to chime in, Mike – I generally let my readers say what they will and comment as they see fit. In this instance, you're glaringly incorrect. I shouldn't be giving you free advice, but you're not going to follow it anywhoo, so here goes:

    Your LinkedIn profile isn't an “active R&D project” that's “just for you.” It's available to the masses, as are all social media profiles. I would think a social media “expert” would understand that, especially since you link to your LinkedIn profile from everywhere on God's own creation.

    Social media is about being SOCIAL. Making information AVAILABLE. If you're treating your LinkedIn profile like an R&D project, I shudder to think what your clients are getting for a nifty $10k. I would hate for one of my clients to pay $10k for R&D from an “expert” when they're paying for insight into the mad, yet highly manageable world of social media and social networking.

    BTW – I'm not publishing your other comment as it's a link farm for your websites. You already got a boat load of free advertising from me today. Not really inclined to let any more slide through in the comments section.

    Peace out, dude. Rock on.

    Reply
  47. The Redhead
    The Redhead says:

    Here's where I have to chime in, Mike – I generally let my readers say what they will and comment as they see fit. In this instance, you're glaringly incorrect. I shouldn't be giving you free advice, but you're not going to follow it anywhoo, so here goes:

    Your LinkedIn profile isn't an “active R&D project” that's “just for you.” It's available to the masses, as are all social media profiles. I would think a social media “expert” would understand that, especially since you link to your LinkedIn profile from everywhere on God's own creation.

    Social media is about being SOCIAL. Making information AVAILABLE. If you're treating your LinkedIn profile like an R&D project, I shudder to think what your clients are getting for a nifty $10k. I would hate for one of my clients to pay $10k for R&D from an “expert” when they're paying for insight into the mad, yet highly manageable world of social media and social networking.

    BTW – I'm not publishing your other comment as it's a link farm for your websites. You already got a boat load of free advertising from me today. Not really inclined to let any more slide through in the comments section.

    Peace out, dude. Rock on.

    Reply
  48. doylealbee
    doylealbee says:

    I have to give kudos to The Redhead here. Mike, you're good at LinkedIn from a technical standpoint, but socmed is far less about technical and far more about relationships and authenticity.

    I'm most disturbed by two points in your responses. First, the “other SEO people are worse.” That's a bit like saying “I didn't shoot him, I only stabbed him.” Sorry, but as Huey Lewis said (to stay in a rock theme) “Sometimes bad is bad” and sometimes degrees of bad aren't really defendable.

    Second, the fact that LinkedIn won't let you keyword stuff without tweaking the years is a weak point at best. I often tell clients who want to play SEO games: what if people find you and when they do, the find the dumb things you've done? This is a perfect example. If I'm looking for a Twitter expert, for example, and your SEO tricks lead me to your site, a quick read won't make me say “wow, this guy figured out the LinkedIn system and tweaked his dates.” Instead, I'll think, “who is this goof? Twitter wasn't invented then.” I'm guessing that's not the result you want.

    Authenticity trumps all in this space. In fact, authenticity is in the penthouse and everything else is waiting in then lobby for the elevator.

    Reply
  49. doylealbee
    doylealbee says:

    I have to give kudos to The Redhead here. Mike, you're good at LinkedIn from a technical standpoint, but socmed is far less about technical and far more about relationships and authenticity.

    I'm most disturbed by two points in your responses. First, the “other SEO people are worse.” That's a bit like saying “I didn't shoot him, I only stabbed him.” Sorry, but as Huey Lewis said (to stay in a rock theme) “Sometimes bad is bad” and sometimes degrees of bad aren't really defendable.

    Second, the fact that LinkedIn won't let you keyword stuff without tweaking the years is a weak point at best. I often tell clients who want to play SEO games: what if people find you and when they do, the find the dumb things you've done? This is a perfect example. If I'm looking for a Twitter expert, for example, and your SEO tricks lead me to your site, a quick read won't make me say “wow, this guy figured out the LinkedIn system and tweaked his dates.” Instead, I'll think, “who is this goof? Twitter wasn't invented then.” I'm guessing that's not the result you want.

    Authenticity trumps all in this space. In fact, authenticity is in the penthouse and everything else is waiting in then lobby for the elevator.

    Reply
  50. Mike O'Neil
    Mike O'Neil says:

    The LinkedIn training class that you attended was 4 years and over 400 classes ago, we didn’t even have handouts or PowerPoint slides back then. It was 2006 when there was but 1 place on the planet to get LinkedIn training – in Colorado and from me. Colorado is now the #3 in terms of per capita LinkedIn usage in North America. Coincidence?

    I hadn't realized how few people know the workaround for moving positions around in a profile to make up for LinkedIn’s shortcoming. This is the only way and I didn’t think that using ridiculous dates would be taken seriously. I could have said 1850 for the date, maybe I should have.

    I have made some adjustments as a result of this conversation because even very insightful people do not understand the method behind the scenes. This post and the responses, although it feels like an attack Mike day, has spawned some very good discussion about best practices and things people should consider in the social media world. If people took the time to talk to me personally, perhaps they would understand why I do what I do and the benefit that my pushing the envelope brings to my clients who then don’t have to.

    Reply
  51. Mike O'Neil
    Mike O'Neil says:

    The LinkedIn training class that you attended was 4 years and over 400 classes ago, we didn’t even have handouts or PowerPoint slides back then. It was 2006 when there was but 1 place on the planet to get LinkedIn training – in Colorado and from me. Colorado is now the #3 in terms of per capita LinkedIn usage in North America. Coincidence?

    I hadn't realized how few people know the workaround for moving positions around in a profile to make up for LinkedIn’s shortcoming. This is the only way and I didn’t think that using ridiculous dates would be taken seriously. I could have said 1850 for the date, maybe I should have.

    I have made some adjustments as a result of this conversation because even very insightful people do not understand the method behind the scenes. This post and the responses, although it feels like an attack Mike day, has spawned some very good discussion about best practices and things people should consider in the social media world. If people took the time to talk to me personally, perhaps they would understand why I do what I do and the benefit that my pushing the envelope brings to my clients who then don’t have to.

    Reply
  52. Mike O'Neil
    Mike O'Neil says:

    This crosses many paths Doyle, so I will only address one in each response. If you want to place a particular position in a place on your LinkedIn profile where it does not naturally fall (like at the top or bottom), you must adjust the start date to affect the order. It's that simple but few people know that. It has nothing to do with the Keywords; they were tied in by others and not by me

    Just because you work as a temp at Home Depot doesn't mean it needs to show up first on your LinkedIn profile! This is covered in the Rock the World book that I think you might agree is a worthy read.

    If you use ridiculous dates (like I used 1990 for Twitter) it should show intelligent minds that the dates are not real (1850 would have been a better date I suppose). I made manual entries in the description as to the actual dates as a result of this post to help clarify. A new best practice I guess. That should settle that.

    Reply
  53. Mike O'Neil
    Mike O'Neil says:

    This crosses many paths Doyle, so I will only address one in each response. If you want to place a particular position in a place on your LinkedIn profile where it does not naturally fall (like at the top or bottom), you must adjust the start date to affect the order. It's that simple but few people know that. It has nothing to do with the Keywords; they were tied in by others and not by me

    Just because you work as a temp at Home Depot doesn't mean it needs to show up first on your LinkedIn profile! This is covered in the Rock the World book that I think you might agree is a worthy read.

    If you use ridiculous dates (like I used 1990 for Twitter) it should show intelligent minds that the dates are not real (1850 would have been a better date I suppose). I made manual entries in the description as to the actual dates as a result of this post to help clarify. A new best practice I guess. That should settle that.

    Reply
  54. The Redhead
    The Redhead says:

    No, Mike. It's not a “new best practice.” It's a crappy new one. Using ridiculous dates implies that you're gaming the system. An intelligent recruiter and or business person can make the distinctions between actual job positions and the crap you're stuffing in there. They can also understand someone taking a position during an employment lull.

    The crap you're teaching people to do wouldn't fly in Executive Search circles and nor would it with a C-level exec who's reviewing resumes. The bullshit you're telling people to stuff into job positions is better suited for a summary or additional skills section. You're just using underhanded tactics, what's know as “black hat” in the SEO world, to get people to notice you and your clients. I feel bad for them and for you. Then again, I feel worse for them because they're trusting you as an “expert” and actually paying you MONEY for bad advice that's making them look like an asshat of YOUR caliber. It's great that you've figured out how to “game” LinkedIn – but gaming LinkedIn is no better than the auto-DM'ers and the Auto-Follow software people pimp. Social Media is about relationships and technology is the access point. Just because you get the technology doesn't mean you are entitled to the relationship.

    It's amazing to me how you've used every comment on my blog to plug your book. Appalling, really. If you'd like to leave another comment, leave out the sales speak. Another plug and you'll be drop-kicked into social media oblivion, m'kay? (aka, I'll use the “delete comment” button)

    Here endeth the lesson. We won't be giving you any more free advice on how to make yourself appear more human in social media circles.

    Reply
  55. The Redhead
    The Redhead says:

    No, Mike. It's not a “new best practice.” It's a crappy new one. Using ridiculous dates implies that you're gaming the system. An intelligent recruiter and or business person can make the distinctions between actual job positions and the crap you're stuffing in there. They can also understand someone taking a position during an employment lull.

    The crap you're teaching people to do wouldn't fly in Executive Search circles and nor would it with a C-level exec who's reviewing resumes. The bullshit you're telling people to stuff into job positions is better suited for a summary or additional skills section. You're just using underhanded tactics, what's know as “black hat” in the SEO world, to get people to notice you and your clients. I feel bad for them and for you. Then again, I feel worse for them because they're trusting you as an “expert” and actually paying you MONEY for bad advice that's making them look like an asshat of YOUR caliber. It's great that you've figured out how to “game” LinkedIn – but gaming LinkedIn is no better than the auto-DM'ers and the Auto-Follow software people pimp. Social Media is about relationships and technology is the access point. Just because you get the technology doesn't mean you are entitled to the relationship.

    It's amazing to me how you've used every comment on my blog to plug your book. Appalling, really. If you'd like to leave another comment, leave out the sales speak. Another plug and you'll be drop-kicked into social media oblivion, m'kay? (aka, I'll use the “delete comment” button)

    Here endeth the lesson. We won't be giving you any more free advice on how to make yourself appear more human in social media circles.

    Reply
    • Bhaskar
      Bhaskar says:

      Wow…go to the profile in question now and everything has changed.

      One of my first realizations when doing social media is- don’t fricking lie. You will get caught and it will be ugly. Expert schmexpert be damned

      Reply
  56. timeforcake creative
    timeforcake creative says:

    Am I the only one here finding it truly bizarre how Mike keeps repeating (over and over and over) his “you-must-use-the-dates-to-order-things-effectively-and-VERY-few-people-other-than-me-know-this” comment — yet he refuses to respond to everyone here begging him for actual proof/evidence of benefits/sales/cost-savings, etc. that his clients have experienced??? No pudding. No proof. Just a continued stream of fluff.

    And if no one other than Mike knows about the LinkedIn work-around involving the use of likely-fabricated dates, then WHY THE HELL would people assume one is using dates for a reason other than showing your jobs' actual timeframes?????

    Mike's comment that the use of 1990 for his Twitter-expertise-start-date *obviously* appearing fake for 'intelligent minds' completely ignores the fact that MANY, MANY (if not most?) of Mike's potential clients exist outside the social media industry–and therefore likely have NO CLUE as to when Twitter started. These potential clients would of course not know about Mike's secret LinkedIn date workaround and would therefore have no reason whatsoever to assume Mike's dates are anything other than true. And if Mike DID put 1850 as his Twitter-expertise start date, I have a hunch a helluv a lot of people would be seriously confused.

    NOT like any of this matters, because, remember, as he told us, his profile is STRICTLY FOR HIM AND NO ONE ELSE. Which is why he's making statements about intelligent profile-visitors knowing the dates aren't real… and why he's updating his profile as people respond to him here. Because, you know, it's not for anyone else but him.

    On a final note, I find it downright insulting that Mike would tell Doyle he might agree that his new book (Rock the World, I believe it's called…) is a worthy read.

    Reply
  57. Mike O'Neil
    Mike O'Neil says:

    Doyle – My LinkedIn profile is a walking test bed and what I do now is different than 2 weeks ago, and different than it will be next month. This idea came up at a conference I spoke at – because web sites and LinkedIn profiles must take into account the variety of words and phrases someone might type into the search parameters, their profile should do the same.

    Those conversations spawned this test. It is JUST a test for internal LinkedIn searching, not the greater Web. We are still testing this in the analytics and will be testing something else when this cycle is through. No stats to share yet.

    Because one can only have one LinkedIn profile, and because it is visible to everyone, there is no way to do testing like the Twitter experts who have over 100 accounts to try things out. They don’t care if one gets shut down or blacklisted. On LinkedIn you have to care. I don’t use my clients profiles as test cases, just my own so I can learn and develop best practices that will bring them the results they are looking for.

    I understand the controversy, but the leaders get the arrows in the chest not in the back. I am pushing the envelope on behalf of my audience. I am the expert that I claim to be Doyle and you know that. This is R&D in direct public view, something rather unique to Social Media. There is just much more to the story here so I understand your chiding in with the limited information the group is being fed here.

    Reply
  58. LoriRuff
    LoriRuff says:

    Disclosure: I have worked with Mike as a member of his executive team since September 2008.

    There are many people—in the Greater Denver Area in particular—that have benefitted because Mike O’Neil was inspired to offer LinkedIn training to association leaders gathered back in 2006.

    Many people appreciate his work; many know he is a high-energy, high performer type always pushing the envelope. How he conducts his own life is something many people watch with interest but wouldn’t be interested in duplicating. I am fairly confident that this tendency translates to his online life as well.

    I can confirm that he does not recommend to people that they “keyword stuff” their profiles; rather that they make a list of their most important keywords and use them in strategic places throughout.

    The list of clients that Mike has assisted is extensive and the recommendations on his profile reflect that. He has impacted the success of many business professionals and companies. We have many examples of people who have benefited. Here are some recent stories:

    Kim D. – executive job seeker. Worked with us to update her profile and build her network. Within days she had several connections reach out with job opportunities. She’s had 3 interviews as a result.

    Local franchise HQ: We rewrote and enhanced the profiles of top 5 execs and built large networks for 2 officers responsible to recruit business. Within 45 days, traffic to their website increase over 25%; and 30% of overall traffic came directly from LinkedIn. The increase resulted in new franchisees and new members.

    Boulder businessman assisting growing companies with alternative funding options. We built his profile and increased his network. We tweaked important keywords to ensure he showed up in the top of the search results for a niche market. Within a week his “search results” went from 3 times in 90 days to showing up 12 in 3 days. His “people who viewed your profile” went from 1 in 90 days to 8 in the last 3 days. More powerful evidenced is the several LinkedIn messages he now receives daily with inquiries for service.

    For those of you who asked, these are real results from real clients. I sent notes to request permission to share their profile links so you can see what some of these profiles look like and I will add them via a comment if I am able. For now, I hope this answers some of the questions I read throughout the comments to this post.

    For the record, we call people on the carpet as well when we see supposed “experts” try to use underhanded practices. I understand many of the comments from people who don’t know Mike or his work and I even understand the comments from people who do know him and have taken the opportunity to tell him how they perceive what he is doing. It is advice and a learning opportunity and for that, I thank you. Lessons are not always easily learned.

    As for Mike calling himself an expert: Wikipedia and other sources indicate that a subject matter expert has spent 10,000 hours in their field. That works out to about 4 years of experience. 2006 – 2010… Mike has served that time training on LinkedIn. Whether or not you agree with him and the way he explains things, he is a well respected speaker, author and authority in the online community: not because of how he manages his own profile, but because of the work he does on behalf of others that directly impacts their success.

    Reply
  59. Mike O'Neil
    Mike O'Neil says:

    Doyle – My LinkedIn profile is a walking test bed and what I do now is different than 2 weeks ago, and different than it will be next month. This idea came up at a conference I spoke at – because web sites and LinkedIn profiles must take into account the variety of words and phrases someone MIGHT type into the search parameters, their profile should do the same. That is his logic and it seems worthy of a look.

    Those conversations spawned this test. It is JUST a test for internal LinkedIn searching, not the greater Web. We are still testing this in the analytics and will be testing something else when this cycle is through. No stats to share yet.

    Because one can only have one LinkedIn profile, and because it is visible to everyone, there is no way to do testing like the Twitter experts who have over 100 accounts to try things out. They don’t care if one gets shut down or blacklisted. On LinkedIn you have to care.

    I understand the controversy, but the leaders get the arrows in the chest not in the back. I am pushing the envelope on behalf of my audience. I am the expert that I reference Doyle and you know that. This is R&D in direct public view, something rather unique to Social Media don't you agree?

    Reply
  60. Mike O'Neil
    Mike O'Neil says:

    D.T. You look pretty cool. I see you are a member of my Linked To Denver Group so you should be no stranger to what I do and the level to which I do it.

    Funny getting this kind of wording from a fellow Pink Floyd fan. I have seen them 4 times and often train on LinkedIn in a PF shirt.

    Education is not limited to a school. Miller Heiman is education. Dale Carnegie is education. Cisco training is education. Social Media Academy would be education. None are what you would call schools.

    250 real customers (adults no less) people have recommended me from the trainings I did for them. CEO's from tech companies, entrepreneurs, sales managers, recruiting managers, sorry, no 6th graders.

    My profile is a rolling test bed, don't do the things I do. Read our Rock The World book to learn about profiles.

    Reply
  61. Mike O'Neil
    Mike O'Neil says:

    If one is optimizing for search OUTSIDE LinkedIn this is right on. Inside LinkedIn (and only looking inside LinkedIn) this does not seem to apply. If LinkedIn has an anchor technology now, please share it. I have lots in my audience that would like to know how to do that!

    This conversation about this test period is just about SEO inside LinkedIn, although it seems like people seem to be missing that minor, yet important, point.

    Reply
  62. Mike O'Neil
    Mike O'Neil says:

    I look forward to meeting you at a Meetup or Tweetup sometime Elisa. There is nobody that can live up to the demons I am up portrayed here. There is one this Friday in downtown Denver.

    I do rock, my book rocks, my training rocks and anyone who has actual first-hand information that is anywhere current will agree. Meet me at the ROCK BOTTOM every Friday night in the summer for live bands.

    Someone who REALLY rocks has to take music (where the term comes from) into account somewhere – 1,000 concerts including Elvis Presley in '72, Led Zeppelin in '75!

    Reply
  63. The Redhead
    The Redhead says:

    Mike, final notice: all of your comments mentioning your book, which you seem to do EVERY comment, are deleted since I TOLD YOU that if you mentioned your book one more time, they'd be deleted.

    It's downright insulting that, considering you refer to yourself as a “professional,” that you'd use the comments section of my blog to as a continuous stream of advertising.

    I've deleted Lori's comment as well – you guys can have one folk speak for you and I think you're doing an AOK job of holding up your “reputation” as it is.

    It's my blog, I take aim. I stand by the target I aimed at and apparently my readers do as well.

    Again, here endeth the lesson.

    And BTW – if you'd ever met DT Pennington, you'd know straight-up that he's…of his own opinion. Just because he's a Led Zeppelin fan doesn't mean he's of your ilk. Goes to show you what a profile can tell you.

    Reply
  64. D.T. Pennington
    D.T. Pennington says:

    Don't fret Mike, the reply you left to a previous comment still made it to my email box! I'd just like to say that while I may have shoplifted some Pink Floyd nearly 10 years ago, I wouldn't say I'm a “fellow fan.” Also, what does Pink Floyd have to do with anything concerning your argument at all?

    Online personal branding can be quite a bitch. If you actually took the time to know me, you'll find out that how I have presented myself online in the past can be rather misleading. I make it a career to sling smut, I make it a hobby to bust balls.

    “My profile is a rolling test bed, don't do the things I do.” Noted. If you were really anything about Rock and Roll, you shouldn't even have to hint at this.

    Also, I'm never going to read your book. The fact that you've gone so far to juxtapose business with anything alluding to the Rock 'n' Roll lifestyle makes me physically ill. But it's good you went so far as to incorporate a font and color scheme that has been reserved for the most iconic music historians to date.

    Balls. Busted. </caring>

    Reply
  65. Ana Carrera
    Ana Carrera says:

    WOW!! Being very much a newbie to social networking who is mostly confused most of the time by most of it, I spend quite a bit of time (sometimes too much) trying to learn about it… This has been quite an eye-opener for me, underscoring a) the importance of following the right people, and b) that this is a continually evolving medium, where even the Experts are “learning as they go” (per Shelly), which is kind of frightening but at the same time comforting…
    Thanks!!

    Reply
  66. Doyle Albee
    Doyle Albee says:

    I guess I wasn't clear in my my original concerns, and since it resulted in two comments from you, Mike, let me be more clear in this post.

    SEO, in my opinion, is just ONE of the many benefits of LinkedIn, but LinkedIn is not designed to be an SEO tool over everything else. It is first and foremost a communications tool that should accurately describe what you do/have done professionally. If SEO or R&D or anything else gets in the way of that, I believe it's wrong. Plain and simple. From the terms of service I read on LinkedIn, it seems they find my way of thinking more in line with their intentions than yours seem to be.

    In your profile, you not only intentionally misrepresented the years during which you accumulated your expertise in social networks like Twitter and YouTube, it seems as though some of the expertise listed is questionable as well. For example, I see the phrases “Twitter author, Twitter book, Twitter books, Twitter book author” in one speciality field, and “YouTube book, YouTube books, YouTube author, YouTube book author” in another. As far as I know, you have not written any books on YouTube or Twitter, but you have these phrases–things people “might” type in–on your page. Should I put “brain surgeon” on my profile? Someone might type that in, after all. The important point here, Mike, is if someone types in “brain surgeon,” they're probably looking for someone who really is a brain surgeon, not someone who can spell it and put it in a profile. Same thing is true for something like “YouTube book author.” If I type that in a search, I'm looking for someone who has authored a book about YouTube. Given how much you've talked about your LinkedIn book here, I have to believe that if you had authored other books, we'd have heard about it. Have you?

    Honestly, I'm more than just a little curious about your use of those phrases. The years were absolutely false–according to both common sense and your own admission, despite the fact you believe it is appropriate to falsify that information in order to step around LinkedIn protocol. Now, upon closer read, there seems to be false claims in your profile. There's no date ordering or protocol to step around there–why are those phrases there? You're either a “YouTube book author” or you're not. If you are, I'd welcome a chance to read your Twitter and YouTube books, just as I read your LinkedIn book–thanks again, by the way, for the signed copy you sent me.

    In fact, it seems to me your expertise descriptions actually violate the LinkedIn Terms of Service, something I would hardly expect from a LinkedIn expert. This is from the posted terms on LinkedIn: “Don’t undertake in the following:… Upload, post, email, InMail, transmit or otherwise make available or initiate any content that…[misrepresents] your current or previous positions and qualifications.” It doesn't say “It's OK to change the years in order to make the order show up how you want it to in our system” or “it's OK to add terms people might want to search for, even if they have nothing to do with your actual experience.” Taking out the legal language, the terms are pretty clear: don't make things up.

    Remember George O'Leary? He was named head coach at Notre Dame, one of the premier coaching positions in college football, in 2001. He resigned five days later, before he ever roamed the sidelines in South Bend. Remember why? He lied on his resume. This is serious stuff, Mike. Notre Dame thinks so. LinkedIn thinks so. I think so as well. LinkedIn, like many social media communities, is like a chair. Kick out one of the legs–transparency, authenticity, honesty, SEO, etc.–and there's a good chance you'll tip over. When honesty and accuracy are sacrificed for SEO gains, in my opinion, the chair–and it's occupant–falls to the floor.

    One last request: please don't tell me what I know or what I should think or believe about your book, your expertise, or anything else for that matter. I don't claim to be an expert, but I'm pretty damn good at making up my own mind. If you want to know what I think about anything, you're welcome to ask anytime you like. But please… don't put words in my mouth.

    Reply
  67. LoriRuff
    LoriRuff says:

    Erika: I'm wondering why my comment was deleted. Have other comments supporting Mike also been deleted? I'll try to post it again. We'll see what you do with it. That will answer the question I can't ask you directly of the “defending your honor” part of your post. If you don't allow others to chime in unless they agree with you; there's really no point in continuing to read your blog as a credible source of dialog in this quickly evolving space.

    Reply
  68. LoriRuff
    LoriRuff says:

    Disclosure: I have worked with Mike as a member of his executive team since September 2008. Second attempt to have this post moderated.
    (becuase the Head Redhead deleted the first comment as it sounds like an advertisement)
    There are many people—in the Greater Denver Area in particular—that have benefitted because Mike O’Neil was inspired to offer LinkedIn training to association leaders gathered back in 2006.

    Many people appreciate his work; many know he is a high-energy, high performer type always pushing the envelope. How he conducts his own life is something many people watch with interest but wouldn’t be interested in duplicating. I am fairly confident that this tendency translates to his online life as well.

    I can confirm that he does not recommend to people that they “keyword stuff” their profiles; rather that they make a list of their most important keywords and use them in strategic places throughout.
    (Yet he does this on his own profile – AWESOME — Erika's note)
    The list of clients that Mike has assisted is extensive and the recommendations on his profile reflect that. He has impacted the success of many business professionals and companies. We have many examples of people who have benefited. (Entire segment deleted by Erika as it's a listing of case studies that act as an advertisement for your business. Sorry!) For the record, we call people on the carpet as well when we see supposed “experts” try to use underhanded practices. I understand many of the comments from people who don’t know Mike or his work and I even understand the comments from people who do know him and have taken the opportunity to tell him how they perceive what he is doing. It is advice and a learning opportunity and for that, I thank you. Lessons are not always easily learned.

    As for Mike calling himself an expert: Wikipedia and other sources indicate that a subject matter expert has spent 10,000 hours in their field. That works out to about 4 years of experience. 2006 – 2010… Mike has served that time training on LinkedIn. Whether or not you agree with him and the way he explains things, he is a well respected speaker, author and authority in the online community: not because of how he manages his own profile, but because of the work he does on behalf of others that directly impacts their success.

    Reply
  69. The Redhead
    The Redhead says:

    As a blog owner, I'm entitled to delete comments that I have instructed others that are out of bounds. YOURS was the only comment deleted as it was a string of WIkipedia definitions. You can see that this one stood and you're whitelisted. I rarely, if ever, delete comments, Lori. I'm a professional, just like you. Your comment said that you'd reached out to those who supported what you guys do over there and asked permissions to post their profiles.

    I. Don't. Care.

    My blog will not be a link farm for anyone's work. If you want to defend YOUR honor, be respectful of a fellow professional's blog. This blog was about Mike, not you. It's honorable that you've come to his defense, but as he's only interested in dropping mentions of his book in every comment he makes, he was warned and his subsequent comments were deleted.

    If you'd like to resubmit your previous comment without sounding like you're going to bombard my blog with links to LinkedIn profiles you've helped create, by all means.

    My blog is an open forum – I'm entitled to have a comments policy however. No advertising, no link bombing. Ta-da!

    Reply
  70. The Redhead
    The Redhead says:

    Gonna have to say, Doyle…you went where I didn't. Never even really thought to look at LinkedIn's Terms of Service. Heading over there now. Wait – couldn't wait. It's right there under section 10.b.28.c:

    Do NOT: Adds to a content field content that is not intended for such field (i.e. submitting a telephone number in the “title” or any other field, or including telephone numbers, email addresses, street addresses or any personally identifiable information for which there is not a field provided by LinkedIn);

    …kinda like Mike's doing with his false Job descriptions that are purely keyword stuffing?

    And 10.b.28.a:

    Do NOT: Upload, post, email, InMail, transmit or otherwise make available or initiate any content that:
    Falsely states, impersonates or otherwise misrepresents your identity, including but not limited to the use of a pseudonym, or misrepresenting your current or previous positions and qualifications, or your affiliations with a person or entity, past or present.

    Hats off, Doyle.

    Anyone care to chime in at this juncture? I think LinkedIn's Terms of Use are…well, crystal clear.

    By the way, here's the link if you'd care to review for yourselves:
    http://www.linkedin.com/static?key=user_agreeme

    Reply
  71. LoriRuff
    LoriRuff says:

    Thanks for posting Erika. None of my comment was intended to be an advertisement but a response to the questions of other readers who asked specifically about “show us results”. Your comments are noted though and I'll keep it in mind on other posts.

    Reply
  72. E. Foley - Geek's Dream Girl
    E. Foley - Geek's Dream Girl says:

    2010 is only 98 days old.

    So… 3 years and 98 days is 28,632 hours. (1193 days * 24 hours)

    Assuming he sleeps say… 7 hours a night, that's 8351 hours we can't count.

    This brings him down to 20,281 hours.

    Let's assume that he spends an hour of each day doing things like showering, shaving, peeing, pooping, doing his hair. That's 1193 hours we can't count.

    This brings him down to 19,088 hours.

    Let's also assume that each day he spends an hour for meals. 20 minutes per meal is a little more than the American standard, but we'll assume he eats at nice places that require more time to savor. That's 1193 hours we can't count.

    This brings him down to 17,895 hours.

    We can also assume that after sleeping 7 hours, bathroom duties for 1, and eating for 1, he's probably not working for the other 15. What else could he be doing?

    Oh! Well, he could be FLYING or DRIVING to places where he's doing presentations! Since NY to LA is a 6 hour flight, we'll say the average flight is… oh, 2 hours in the air. But there's also the pesky part about getting to the airport, security, etc. Really, to fly anywhere, you lose a full day (1/2 on the departure, 1/2 on the return).

    Mike's bio says he's delivered over 300 sessions in the past 3.5 years, and we'll be nice and assume half of them were out of the local area. So… 150 sessions times a full day of travel (aka not working) = 3600 hours we can't count.

    This brings him down to 14,295 hours.

    See where I'm going here? I'm also going to assume Mike has a life and friends and doesn't always work on weekends. There are 104 weekend days in an average year. That's 2496 hours we can't count.

    This brings him down to 11,799 hours.

    I'm also going to say that no human being works 15 hour days every day. (Remember, 24-7(sleep)-1(potty)-1(food).) Let's cut him down to a 12 hour work day (but of course, only for those non-weekend days). That's 2190 hours we can't count.

    This brings him down to…

    *drumroll please*

    9609 hours do not an expert make.

    DISCLAIMER: I am a liberal arts major, thus my math skills may be a bit off. I think my point is dead-on, though. 😉

    Reply
  73. Doyle Albee
    Doyle Albee says:

    HR people (full disclosure, I'm married to one, so I have a little authority, I guess) consider a full-time year to be 2,080 hours. Thats's 40 hours /week for the year. Given that stat, we can all do the math from there, and you're on the right track.

    Reply
  74. Ike Pigott
    Ike Pigott says:

    Erika, it's rather interesting that his wordpress.com site is now down, and he's pointing to his Rock the World site. (Yes, I know how to create a hyperlink in comments, and I know when *not* to.)

    I wonder if Jann Wenner would think as highly of his photoshop skills as you do of his social media skills?

    Reply
  75. The Redhead
    The Redhead says:

    Yeah, MIke had indicated that he “fixed” the WordPress.com site in an earlier comment. Funny – he said he never used it and, coincidentally, I found it via one of his tweets.

    Your Photoshop comment is making me LOL. Thanks for stopping by, Ike!

    Reply
  76. LoriRuff
    LoriRuff says:

    Thanks for making this a bit easier Doyle. Mike has been an active member of LinkedIn since early 2004 and has been training, consulting, and speaking since 2006. That's 6 years of active (in Mike's case hyperactive) personal use including 4 years more than full-time in the business (and anyone who knows Mike knows he works more than 40 hours a week, often 12 or more hours a day).

    So everyone can continue to criticize specific comments he made or specific items they don't agree with, but on the whole, I don't know anyone in Denver or anywhere else that can hold a candle to his level of experience on LinkedIn. Mike even brought LinkedIn training to the Denver area all those years ago. Kevin Johansen recently told me that as a result of Mike's consistent evangelism, Denver has the third highest per capita engagement of the platform in the country.

    Several people mentioned that social media is an evolving environment and this post and resulting commentary just highlights that a) not everyone gets everything right all the time, and b) we all have a lot to continue to learn and c) this is all about relationships.

    Since we all seem to agree that it is about relationships, it amazes me how caustic and vengeful this commentary has sounded. Again for those who know Mike, they know he is a generous man with a lot of people he calls friends, including you Doyle. That doesn't mean a friend can't call you out and wake you up, but the relationship should be honored (as in the part of the title that says “defending your honor” or defending the honor of your friends).

    So we've all taken part in giving Mike a great wake up call. Those who care about him might care to check in and tell him that no matter what they think about this topic, they do still consider him a friend. As I said earlier, some lessons are hard learned.

    Continue to attack him if you like, but we have to get back to work.

    Reply
  77. LoriRuff
    LoriRuff says:

    You might have seen his blog post yesterday about the Ghosts of Blogs past… it's a hard decision to shut down a blog with active links out on the internet, even if you convert to a new one. The conversion was made over a year ago to the Integrated Alliances WordPress.org site and the Rock the World site was put up late summer to start preparing to promote the book.

    It was past time to take the old ones down, but when do you think, “Hey, today's the day I should go do that” unless something prompts you. Kudos to Mike for taking the time to clean up his act this week.

    Reply
  78. timeforcake creative
    timeforcake creative says:

    Hey Doyle – did you see I totally got your back on that point (him saying you'd love his book) in my comment above? I actually read his statement TWICE as I could not believe he'd say that. Wow.

    Reply
  79. Mike O'Neil
    Mike O'Neil says:

    Of course my LinkedIn book establishes some expertise so you don't want it showing here. Your point loses some of its edge. Why you don't you ask Doyle Albee why he hired me (of all people), to train his best customers on LinkedIn and to speak at his inaugural Metzger New Media breakfast event?

    I know you will delete this so go ahead. You deleted anything else that was supportive of me. At least I know you got the message.

    Reply
  80. The Redhead
    The Redhead says:

    Mike, I deleted ONE comment of yours as it was a blatant advertisement of your book. As it THIS comment.

    I'll just let Doyle respond to this one himself. He hired you – let's see what HE has to say.

    My point loses none of its edge, by the way…I'm here at 11:36pm MST responding to comments on my blog. Nite nite!

    Reply
  81. Taran A Rampersad
    Taran A Rampersad says:

    … and it's actually worse in 3rd world countries where people only read about social media in… newspapers.

    Reply
  82. Epicbeaver1
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