Changing the Game and How You Can Play
Land Surveyors United is a HUGE repository of information and discussion and at times it may be hard to see ourselves within this ocean of information. But I'm here to tell you that without you, there would be no waves. I'm gonna show you how to surf this network. What I am about to tell you will change the ways you communicate online, as a professional land surveyor.
Here is What I've Discovered
This is my network as much as it is yours and other who share our mind frame and skillsets. As far as I can tell, this website will not be going away anytime in my lifetime. It is here to stay and build upon. Your Land Surveyors United profile is a gateway to both a more pleasurable workday both online and in the field -but more importantly it serves as a living resume for your career as a professional land surveyor. I'm starting to see all of the different ways that a surveyor can use their profile to document past/present experiences, learn new techniques while teaching others and pretty much become an all around better surveyor. I want to point out a few things that I've discovered about my profile that you might have overlooked or may just haven't fully realized yet.Briefly, you can do the following:
- Share documents with other surveyors or between the field and the office
- Showcase your projects and document progress
- Handle ALL of your social media networking simultaneously from one single place
- Carry on meaningful relationships with other surveyors with your exact same interests
- Demonstrate and even promote what those interests are using groups
- Add your own personal style to your professional career as a land surveyor..
the list goes on..
Status Updates Make the World Turn
On facebook and twitter, you might see your status update as just a fun (or stupid) way to inform your friends about your latest "ureka" but on LSU, status updates mean business, literally. Updating your status from LSU home page or right from inside your profile is easy. You get 140 characters to express exactly what you want (I hear that in near future this limit will be lifted). What you want to do here is say something short and sweet like "Just got finished cutting 3 miles of line for shopping mall a project in Tulsa Oklahoma" or " calibrating my old Topcon GPT-3000 and preparing for a hard days work in Florida swamp." By checking the boxes for twitter and/or facebook, you can update all three at the same time.....but here's the real value: You're saying something meaningful about yourself as a surveyor and about your company. Twitter and Facebook are real time, guys! This means if you are trying to promote your services as a surveyor and get more business, mentioning your company and location will a) instantly (as with Google real time search) put you at the top of search engines in real-time search and b) over time help you or your company rise to the top of search engines in your area. If you're not interested in promoting yourself that's ok too! Let the network know the types of work you do and/or the types of equipment you use...there are other surveyors in our GLOBAL network who may just need a little advice from you. Chances are, you may need advice in the future and when you run a search, you'll be glad that your fellow surveyor updated his status with your keywords, once upon a time.
Customize Your Profile...Don't be Afraid.
Many of you in the past may have customized your profile using the old clunky editor on LSU. That was before my time on the network. However, Justin recently (like yesterday) rolled out the whole new design editor for your profile which allows infinite customizations and an easy to use, slick interface. You can make your profile match your branding if you own a surveying company or you can simply use your favorite colors and a photo from the field.
Do you have a Blog or Website Which Features Updated Content?
If you have a blog and public calender or say, a newsletter which is updated regularly, chances are it can be or is syndicated using RSS. Now, on the left hand side of your profile there is a module for you to import your latest updates, simply by placing the RSS feed URL into that field. Simply go to your site, rightclick on the RSS feed icon, "copy link url" and paste it in there. Set it and forget it! From that point forward, updating your website will also update your latest news on your LSU profile. It won't delete anything from your site, of course, it is simply free traffic for you. Updating your status regularly helps with getting traffic to your profile so that visitors can see your feed and check out your website. Many online directories charge upwards of $40-95 dollars per month for this....but thanks to Land Surveyors United, this is a free service for land surveyors. Take advantage of it.
Wanna learn more about RSS, join the group i started!
Groups Might Have Once Seemed Stupid, But Now They're Changing EVERYTHING
I have to admit it, I once thought the whole support groups idea was somewhat pointless until just yesterday. And I have to hand it to LSU Justin...there has always been a method to his madness and what I'm about to tell you may change your mind too.
So, we've all joined a group or two (or twenty) on LSU and we know that starting a discussion in that group will provide a more focused set of responses, but did you know that you can now also create whole pages related to that group? At first you might think to yourself "Big Deal" but I'm here to tell you that it is in fact a big deal! Imagine this: You're a land surveyor with a whole bunch of tutorial type videos documenting your expertise with Sokkia total stations, which you have uploaded or still have on your harddrive but have no idea what to do with them. Well, why not add a page to the Sokkia Support Group or Surveying How-to Group and group those videos together into a "Everything you need to know when working with a Sokkia Total Station" and make that THE authority page on your subject, like someone has done here. Or, say you are part of the Oklahoma Land Surveyors group and you have some advise and tips for students who plan to take the licensing exam in OK. Simply make a new page in that group and discuss it at length. You can use pages for just about anything, provided they are somehow relevant to the group you post them in.
And speaking of relevance....
Tagging Makes You Relevant
When you upload a photo or video (or embed a video) to the network, put special attention in the "tags" that you use to describe that media content. Why? because now there is something else very impressive happening with groups, tagged media on the network automatically becomes imported into the related group, provided it is tagged correctly. Take for example the Sokkia group again. Now when you look on the group page you will see that all of the videos from our library which have the tag "sokkia" will automatically show up in the middle portion of that group. For members who are seeking help or looking to offer advise on a Sokkia related subject, this is a HUGE help, because in the event that they are looking for something not discussed in that group's forum, they have the option of watching a video or tutorial on the subject. Although all of the groups have yet to be converted i've been told that by the end of next week all groups on LSU will have native Land Surveyors United media running through them. When I say native, I mean you, no matter where you are. Add your photos and videos and TAG,TAG,TAG! With a little practice you'll be able to upload one video and tag is with such relevance that it shows up in a whole bunch of groups! Basically, keep this in mind:
- Every tag you add to anything on LSU creates a RSS feed for that tag (even if you misspell it!)
- A feed for a given tag can be syndicated anywhere, both internally and outside of LSU
- Tagging your content that you add carefully insures that your content will be correctly grouped and categorized with other similar content, thus making it easier to find.
- Clicking on any tag will take you to a new page with all of the content tagged with same word or phrase
- Groups have been built in order for the conceptual aspects of land surveying to have a place to be discussed at length in a categorical and hierarchical fashion
Thanks for taking the time to read this note. I am excited for all of the new features and i'm hoping that the surveying community at large will see the value in these gifts which have been given to us to use. We truly can become a more United and cohesive group of professionals if we learn to use these tools together and make our voices heard. Feel free to reach out and tell me about yourself and ask me any questions which you have. I'm just like you....learning how to get by and Land Surveyors United has certainly breathed new life into the surveyor that I once was...
Into the future we go...