« 2015 « March Mindsharing

ארכיון: March, 2015

נכתב בתאריך 25/3/2015 בשעה 14:41 מאת Lior Zoref

beachA few days ago, I had the opportunity to host Singularity University's conference in Tel-Aviv.

After speaking briefly about Mindsharing, someone from the audience asked me, "how is writing a book using crowdsourcing different than traditional writing?"

Good question.

Here are four insights I gained after spending almost 3 years in writing a book with thousands of people who took part in this crowdsourced effort.


1. Extensive research

Research is a key part of developing an idea. With so many information sources such as published research papers, book and press articles, research is a time consuming and challenging.

While sharing the different chapters in Mindsharing with my crowd, many people volunteered to help me do better research.

They have sent me dozen of relevant articles, books and links to YouTube talks from other researcher and authors. This is how I learned about the strength of weak ties, the science behind how our brain is wired for connections, social production and many other ideas that I reference in the book.

Crowdsourcing helped make Mindsharing a solid idea based on the ideas of leading researchers while taking them one-step further.


2. No writer's block

Any author knows what writer's block is. It is when an author loses the ability to be productive and write.

The first time it happened to me, I was scared. What if I'll miss my deadline? What if I've lost my ability to write?

I shared this feeling with my crowd and the crowd came back sharing with their empathy and many ideas on how to cope with a writer's block.

As a result, I left my office and started to write outside while visiting inspiring places and meeting inspiring people.

Tel-Aviv's beautiful beaches and colorful sunsets became my favorite settings for creativity and writing.


3. Real-time feedback

"Feedback is breakfast of champions", Ken Blanchard.

Using crowdsourcing while writing means constant feedback in real time. Whenever I share a new idea, a new chapter or any dilemma, I get immediate feedback.  

Over the months and years of writing, I've became addicted to this feedback. Feedback is food for constant challenge and improvement.

It makes the author more committed to the readers as they constantly push him to do better work.


4. Being confident

This is probably my biggest insight.

I cannot imagine how authors wait until their book is published to learn how people react to their work.

The writing process can take many months and years in which they remain clueless what the people will think about their work.

Using crowdsourcing I found myself surrounded by people who told me they appreciate what I do, they find it useful and inspiring.

I received phone calls and emails from people I never met (weak ties) after they've read and commented on a chapter I shared. Many of them were emotional and enthusiastic about what they have read.

I knew people find value in Mindsharing long before I finished writing it. I knew it touches people's lives in a profound way.

There's no better feeling an author can get and crowdsourcing allowed me to feel this while and not after writing the book.


Crowdsourcing takes time. It makes the writing process more complicated adding many new steps (as I describe in the book).

For me it was worth the effort.

I'll never write alone.

נכתב בתאריך 16/3/2015 בשעה 13:44 מאת Lior Zoref

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurgenappelo/7749079740/in/photolist-cNL4r7-4vdGSp-9M26Jg-7RD8PQ-dQuDXo-5nhLot-dYGGKt-9dMEw9-6wGGg9-gVskFY-dQp4Xr-aBNv9m-r9uVnA-rr5oai-quhVzB-r7L2JK-qu5NMd-r9uUgh-rr5n4R-r9CmU4-r9uTQs-r7L1Sp-qu5MGC-qu5MCj-r9vUJG-rqZ1Jj-r9CkGe-9D6Ps8-6BNKeN-n2HCV-6LXcjN-8QaTgm-8Q7Mti-dqxoFv-6LRUM8-ahEZH8-r7PEYi-82EA7f-8KJJgT-8QaSYo-9D6QjF-9D6QfR-9D6QbF-9D6Q8x-9D9K5j-9D9K2J-9D9JZh-9D6PZp-9D9JVm-arq76AI admit that I was not a huge LinkedIn fan until two years ago.

Then, while writing my book, I started to experiment and learn how LinkedIn can be a platform for crowdsourcing.

I would like to share with you what I learned: 4 LinkedIn tips to improve our career.

In the past months, I am planning the US book launch. LinkedIn became one of the most useful tools for me.

This is what I learned.


1. Smart Search

Whenever you look for new business opportunities, finding the right contact persons is key.

When you search for a company in LinkedIn (at the top bar), you have an 'advanced' button. When you click on it, you see many options to refine your search. You can specify the company you are interested in, a specific location (for example of their HQ).  

Then then come the secret ingredient: keywords.

I was looking for Israelis in each company. Therefore, I just wrote 'Israel' in the keyword.

The result is that anyone who studies in an Israeli university or had a past job in Israel will appear in the results.

Many people replied to me that way! I was invited to speak at TripAdvisor, AirBNB and LinkedIn using this simple method.

You can see the full list of places I'm about to visit at this link. If you wish to help and introduce me to more organizations, feel free to contact me.


2. Sending an email to anyone

After finding the contact persons in each organization, the next challenge was how to reach them. LinkedIn does not tell you what their email address is and they might not approve your connection request.

InMail is a paid feature (starting 25$ a month) which allows you to send a message to almost anyone on LinkedIn.

When you sign to LinkedIn Premium, you can try it one month for free and then cancel if you didn't find value in it.

In addition, when you join many LinkedIn Groups, you can write directly to any contact within those groups without having a Premium account.


3. The Power of Groups

The most powerful place in LinkedIn is Groups. Groups allows you to crowdsource and ask questions (In my book I share this process in details).

I created a list of the most popular LinkedIn groups that can help you out.

Here's the link to this list.


4. Your Profile

This is basic stuff but still many people make mistakes when it comes to their profile. Here are some tips about creating a killer profile:

Go beyond your standard title. For example, you can add a few words about your passion.

Make sure to add your volunteer experience. People always prefer doing business with someone who is not only professional but also a good person.

Don't be shy about your experience (but make sure you keep it authentic). Add videos/pictures.

Add as many connections as you can.

Check for typos and make sure you have a nice professional photo of yourself.


LinkedIn is a powerful tool, not only for those who look for a new job. It's a great place for crowdsourcing and finding new business opportunities.

And if we're not connected, here's a link to my profile :)

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