Using LinkedIn, and other Social Networks


A pleasant young man from a New York bank asked me, out of the blue, to lend some advice on using LinkedIn.
Always happy to help a fellow traveler, I dashed out the following:
I acknowledged his kindness in suggesting I am anything more than a simple Joe who happens to have used LinkedIn forever, and offered…..
Some tips on using LinkedIn, some of which probably apply to most Internet based social / business networks:
Firstly, the most important thing is to keep your profile up to date, but not to change it too often – get it built and then let it maturate – that way when you do change it, the probability is the update will be broadcast to your connections and they will take an interest.
Photo – get a good distinct picture which is clearly you – you may be subject to corporate standards, but you want your face to stand out and be instantly recognisable. You may want to consider having two pictures for your two web persona – professional and casual. Don’t use a different picture for every network – you want people to recognise you; to find you easily.
Remember, nothing you do on the Internet is private – ask Harry about Vegas!
The best thing that could happen is that customers come to you – think about how you can make that happen. Your profile is not a CV, although it will be looked at by anyone thinking of hiring you, or working with you or placing business your way. Everything is important – your job, education, pastimes, group memberships, everything – people like to share things in common, but they also like to learn about people and especially people who do extraordinary things. You might enjoy fishing and golf, shooting and backpacking in the mountains – share, people might be interested. But if you really want to catch someone’s eye, be sure to do something different – in the USA that could be as simple as playing cricket or even soccer. On the other hand it could be as exciting as rock climbing, cliff diving, base jumping, ballooning, or mountain biking. For something to look extraordinary it has to be incongruous – out of place – not necessarily just dangerous or expensive.
Stay honest – you can spoof as much as you want, and even have a Second Life, but don’t claim things on your CV which are not backed up on your profile, and don’t make claims on your profile which wouldn’t stand up to due diligence. Sure, you can exaggerate and even make obviously ridiculous claims – everyone (well nearly) loves a joker – but make sure it can’t backfire and absolute couldn’t be seen as an attempt to deceive.
Grow your network. Take no notice of those who tell you quality is more important than quantity – how could they possibly know. Every connection brings thousands more. You don’t know who you don’t know and the only way you’re going reach out beyond people like you is to connect to people who are a little less like you, because they’ll have friends who’re a lot less like you, and that could mean new opportunities.
If people piss you off, tell them. Don’t shop everyone who upsets you for whatever reason to LinkedIn – ask them to explain, stop, go away, whatever – you never know where the conversation might lead, and you always have the thermo-nuclear option at the end if you need it.
Beware of LinkedIn’s rules and generally adhere to them – LinkedIn has a reputation for being draconian and sometimes not very bright – do not expect reasonableness, then, when (and if) you get it, it will be a pleasant surprise.
I guess that’s enough for today – I’ll  happily take questions – maybe between us we might have started something interesting.
Lastly, you’ll hear lots about ‘paying it forward’. This is a play on ‘paying back’ (I guess) and makes little sense to anyone with a business oriented mentality (IMHO). It’s good to cast your bread upon the waters, however, it’s equally inevitable that what’s not eaten by the ducks or fishes, at best, will come back soggy.
However, for every favour there deserves to be a return, so do pay your dues and help and support others. Don’t be afraid to ask for something and always be ready to offer something in return – but then, you’re in a bank; you should know all about making deals….. 🙂
So what do I need – I’m currently raising £2.5M (about $4M) for a telecoms equipment company – it’s technology is superb and truly disruptive, and for investors, will pay back …….
Cheers John

Neil Armstrong passes, and The Telegraph cocks it up!!

Neil Armstrong was a modest, self-described nerdy engineer who became a global hero when as a steely-nerved U.S. astronaut he made “one giant leap for mankind” with a small step on to the moon.

Sadly today he passed away, so let’s hope he had a good sense of humour, because The Telegraph was ready with a wonderfully crafted Obituary – unfortunately, they got their links crossed:


Fixed at 21:55….. 🙂

#EAv (e)LOCRIS Empire Avenue – Investing for Returns.

  • When you’re young, invest in ROI.
    As your portfolio becomes crowded and you can only earn dividends on 5000 of the stocks you own, you want the stocks with the highest dividends.
    Capital growth is also important, and, again, look for stocks with a high daily increase in value.

    If a stock costs e100 / share and pays a daily dividend of e1, that’s a 1% daily return. If the same stock also increases in value daily by e1 – 100, 101, 102, etc. that’s also returning 1% in growth.
    As long as the daily dividend keeps pace with the rising price, the stock is actually yielding 2%, however, it is also growing in value.
    Attractive stocks like this, tend to attract investors, which drives up the price, but also dilutes the stock – more shareholders and more shares outstanding to share the daily daily dividend pool – so it’s a delicate balancing act, but you can see why high value stocks don’t always pay a high percentage dividend, but are still worth having if you have a restricted 5,000+ portfolio.
    Ultimately, you need stocks that are steadily increasing in value and paying high (better than e1.0 dividends / day).

#EAv (e)LOCRIS – The pros & cons of prematurely announcing “Taking a Break” or leaving Empire Avenue


Falling off the Empire Avenue

Should I announce my pending departure from Empire Avenue?

Some people think it’s gracious and perhaps polite to announce their intended departure from Empire Avenue in advance – maybe they feel it gives friends and investors time to put their affairs in order before the loved one departs.

In fact it can have the opposite effect to that intended and potentially harm loyal investors who hold the leavers shares:

Regrettably, because the intended leaver announces it, many people will sell their shares in the leaver, forcing the share price down – to the detriment of all share holders.

Although the sellers may think they’re getting good value, selling incurs a 5% commission cost and buying replacement shares costs another 5%.

The dividends of the leaver – which might be pretty good, will also be lost to the seller, for the period between the sale and the actual withdrawal from the market.  However, sellers would hope to offset / compensate themselves by buying a commensurate or better performing stock.

Those who hang on (in ignorance?) will see the headline price of the pending leaver drop – but probably not by 5% in a short time, and may see dividends increase as the number of shares outstanding decreases, increasing the share of dividend pool for each remaining shareholder.

If a leaver simply pulls the plug, all their share holders are refunded 100% of the value of their shares – they still have to pay 5% to revinvest, but it’s better because everyone gets full value on the day, and everyone is treated equally with no ‘panicing runners’ adversely affecting the price for everyone.

The long and short of it is there is little benefit in selling prematurely, and little benefit in delaying the inevitable, in pre-announcing intended departure by more than a few hours – those who sell immediately they’ll lose at least 5%, and for those who hang on, although the price may drop (probably by less than 5% in a few days) they will have the benefit of dividends before the end.

If this makes sense, and you’re thinking of leaving Empire Avenue and pre-announcing it, you might consider posting this wherever you announce your pending departure.

An acknowledgement would be appreciated – just in case I’m wrong and people know who to contact….:)

Cheers John

Changing a Headlamp Bulb – Chevrolet Kalos – Nightmare


The Problem:

The Owner’s Manual shows a simple picture of the rear of one of the headlight clusters – what it doesn’t show is that the rear of the headlight cluster is virtually completely inaccessible due to the proximity of other components – there’s no room for your hands.


LH side only – temporarily un clip and move to one side the coolant overflow pipe that runs from the radiator behind the headlight cluster, clipped under the wing to the expansion tank at the back of the engine bay.

Both LH and RH sides – Release the screws and scrivets retaining the grill – 3 screws, 2 scrivets – be gentle with them – you don’t want to strip the heads.

Now release the 3 bolts retaining the headlamp cluster, one of which was concealed behind the grill – note – the headlamp cluster will not come out despite all of your pulling and persuasion, however, it will move enough to allow access to the back – although still very constrained.

Now the hard part – but this is the best way – the socket connector on the back of the bulb is only held in place by the spade connectors on the back of the bulb; prize it free with the blade of a sharp flat wide screwdriver – don’t try to pull it off or us pliers or grips – you could damage the bulb retaining spring-clip inside the housing.

When the connector is off, work around the rubber boot from the bottom and peel it off – this exposes the bulb, sat in the back of the housing, held in with the spring-clip.

Note the bulb’s orientation – you must install the replacement in exactly the same way.

Release the spring-clip slowly noting how it sits and how it is fastened.

Remove the bulb.

Install the new bulb exactly as the old bulb was – spade to each side and top.  Fix with the spring clip.  Whatever you do, do not touch the bulb with your hands, fingers, thumbs, and absolutely don’t be tempted to hold it in your mouth – even the slightest deposit of grease or dirt on the glass will cause it to fail – the bulbs run very hot and any contamination simply acts as a heat sink / hot spot and will cause premature failure – and you’ll have to go through this pain again!!

Replace the rubber boot with the release tab and drain holes perpendicular pointing down.

Replace the bulb connector firmly on the back of the bulb.

Test low and high beam.

Lightly grease all the screw, scrivets and bolts and replace in the sequence – bolts, grill, screws, scrivets.

LH side only – restore and clip the coolant overflow pipe that runs from the radiator behind the headlight cluster, clipped under the wing to the expansion tank at the back of the engine bay to it’s correct place.

Close the bonnet making sure it latches properly – Kalos bonnet / hood catches ‘stick’ – keep it well greased

Have a beer!