10 Easy Ways to Connect

Spent last week at an alumni event for U of Chicago. It was a very good day long session on skills for soliciting fellow alums to participate in school events and donate money. Here are the TEN tips given to make networking easy:

#1 Go to events of common interest. Meetup.coms, museum events, sports events.

#2. SHOW UP EARLY at events!! Never arrive on time or late. Your best Face 2 Face time is 30 to 10 minutes before events start.

#3 Share your passion for causes, music, hobbies to connect with people.

#4 Remember what you have in common and do some homework. I look up other attendees on LinkedIn or the meetup “also attending” roster for backgrounds I find interesting.

#5 Reconnect with people you know now and knew in previous jobs, schools, cities.

#6 Take time for a Face to Face cup of coffee. Nothing replaces F2F.

#7 Create your own roundtable group of monthly meetings. Make the location interesting to draw people.

#8 Engage in an on-line community.

#9 Use your alumni office to find nearby old classmates and LinkedIn for old office mates.

#10 Allows follow up and say thanks for getting together



Start-Ups and Women in Technology

Linda Abraham, founder comSource
DC Social Media Week Keynote Event
February 20, 2013 

My wife is a program director at the National Center for Biotechnology Information at NIH. We went to the DC Social Media Week Keynote to hear Steve Case, legendary AOL founder, speak on upcoming tech trends. A subject of mutual interest. While Steve was pretty much a bust (he was pushing his current investment companies), we really enjoyed Linda Abraham’s talk on her experience starting up comScore.

Linda began with three tips on running a start-up.

I have always been a believer an organization is only as good as its people. Keep relationships strong. Build personal networks. New to me were Linda’s insights into keeping the “bar high” on who you hire. Her experience showed her a single  A+ employee is worth three A level employees, which in turn are worth NINE B employees. It is best to take the time and effort to find that one outstanding person then quickly build a “just competent” staff.

We all read tons of stuff on building business culture and teams. Linda reiterated most of what you regularly hear, but added two interesting details in making new hires transition better. First,  start with a job description that is what you want the new hire to achieve in the first 60 to 90 days. I personally am sick of the 2-3 page line listings of every imaginable function an HR consultant can think of. Linda’s super practical approach focuses the new hire on what needs to be done NOW. Hey, it is all going to change in six months anyways. Second, have 30-60-90 check-ins with your new employees. Nothing formal, just make the time to have three monthly face-to-face meetings to address concerns, make sure there is a fit, etc. NOTE: Linda firmly believes “people want structure, they want the vision. They don’t want bureaucracy”. 

Frankly, she didn’t get into this much. Linda did suggest awarding employees’ spouses for being extended team members, vital to the overall success of the company.

I have a very personal interest in this subject, being married to a woman biotech executive.  I follow Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s comments and can’t wait for her new book, “Lean In”. Linda followed Sandberg’s concerns and added a few of her own. ComSource findings are that women drive 58% of ecommerce activity, yet women are not entering the ring build careers or start companies in e-commerce. The two observations she stated to the audience that contribute to this gender gap:

Women need to be more comfortable, and self-confident, in not knowing everything there  is to know about the job at hand. No one does. Men seem more comfortable in “winging it”.

Women need to think bigger. Women tend to address the smaller parts, not big thoughts.

Handling Stress


A young lady confidently walked around the room while leading and explaining stress management to an audience with a raised glass of water. Everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, ‘half empty or half full?’… She fooled them all …. “How heavy is this glass of water?”, she inquired with a smile.

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. To 20 oz.

She replied , “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it.  If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm.

If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance. In each case it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “and that’s the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on.”

“As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we’re refreshed, we can carry on with the burden – holding stress longer and better each time practiced.

So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night… Pick them up tomorrow.

1  Accept the fact that some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue!
2  Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.
3  Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
4  Drive carefully… It’s not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.
5  If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.
6  If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
7  It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
8  Never buy a car you can’t push.
9  Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won’t have a leg to stand on.
10  Nobody cares if you can’t dance well.  Just get up and dance.
11  Since it’s the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.
12  The second mouse gets the cheese.
13  When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.
14  Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
16  Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.
17  We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names; and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.
18  A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.
19  Have an awesome day, and know that someone has thought about you today.
20  Save the earth….. It’s the only planet with chocolate!

Today someone asked me if I liked you.  I laughed, and I said, “Ha! That’s  funny!  I absolutely L O V E  that woman!!

She’s funny, caring, crazy as heck, sweet, beautiful, she’s reading this email right now & I love her!!”

Send this to ten ladies you love… the more the better!!

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says~~

“Oh Crap, She’s up!”

Hello world!


I am Carl Cohen. I started this blog as a way to keep my notes on social media projects for the various non-profits I volunteer for in one spot. The blog also makes it easier for me to distribute my notes.

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