The utmost desire of every business owner (or blogger) is to be patronized by more and more customers (or visitors). One proven way of achieving this, is owning a website. A website enables your customers, to learn more about the goods and services you render and how best they can patronize you. A Website further exposes your business to innumerable potential customers around the world. Once your website is enabled to display correctly on a mobile device, millions of people around the world can have the best user experience.
There are countless ways of increasing website traffic and in today’s COUNT DOWN, we’re going to look at the top 10.

1). Write Irresistible Headlines

Headlines are one of the most important parts of your content. Without a compelling headline, even the most comprehensive blog post may go unread. For instance, would you have read this post if we had used…

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YAP proposal #237: Feed the farm, feed the world! (Ogholi Kelvin, Nigeria)



Whenever I visit a friend at home here in Nigeria and he offers me protein food like chicken for lunch, this tells me he is doing well. Because, growing up, we only get to eat chicken whenever there is an occasion like Christmas, marriage, birthday ceremony, etc.

Was it like that for you too?

Animal protein like chicken has remained a luxury for low-income consumers who live on less than USD 2.00 a day. Because, it is expensive, but this is only a symbol of the bigger challenge.

Protein foods like livestock, poultry, and aquaculture are expensive because rearing and growing them costs farmers a lot of money. And 70% of farmers’ expenses go to buying feed—not fair.

This concern, according to Food and Agriculture Organization, is caused by ‘overdependence on corn, which has directly led to the high cost of poultry and livestock feed, and this challenge is the…

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For your eyes only


“Its 1:30am and you’re not asleep!” That was the voice of me when I yelled at me last night. A kid at the tone of that would quickly turn of the lights, but instead I turned on my laptop. I spent my previous day at a summit intended to bring young and vibrant minds together for enlightenment and deliberations on the future of the church of God. My experience sent me to my knees and I couldn’t help but be thankful for all I learnt at the summit.

Please take note, this is my perception:
I had great expectations, but they were not cut short, they were redefined. Here are 3 lessons I was fortunate to learn yesterday:

1. On Youths: I learnt that your youth period is characterized by freshness, vitality and zeal. But zeal, when not curtailed and guided has no wisdom (now you can imagine what it means to be without wisdom). We are in a generation where most youths have allowed themselves to be skillfully blindfolded and corked by the devil, such that they can no longer see beyond their noses. In such a generation, being Ambassadorial as Apostle Paul advised in his many letters becomes very necessary. This we must do by believing in Jesus Christ and accepting Him as Lord and Saviour. “Do not let your life be rooted on somebody’s opinion or ideologies.” We must all as youths begin to realize the place of our identity as Ambassadors. Your lifestyle must be morally acceptable and you must be determined to uphold the faith and practice the doctrine of the church.

2. On Leadership: I observed that leaders are leaders because of the challenges they must face and overcome and not because of their entitlements. Calmness and Maturity is a virtue that cannot be disregarded. But in all, when the leader lacks the spirit of God and becomes #impatient, the people will be led into an unnecessary crisis. Now, have you ever been in a rowdy classroom of higher institutions, where a salesman climbs the podium to advertise his goods/services? You would notice that he continues with his presentation whether you are listening or not? I admire that beautiful guts. Leaders are never discouraged, leaders remain focused and courageous, even when they are stabbed at the back. Trust me, the day you get to know who your leader really is, give him your cooperation and loyalty.

3. DOSAC Anthem: Ever thought of how the Nigerian Anthem was born? Then think so of this Anthem, composed and taught to a congregation of youths by a Shepherd. This anthem in his words, “points to the Grace of God that has been available to us. The inspiration came while I was meditating.” This anthem seems to contain the most inspiring lyrics I have ever come across. I hope the tune becomes formal very soon.


Be encouraged my friends, I didn’t mean to preach, but in this letter, I was very sure it wasn’t addressed to everybody, but to you. Continue with the consciousness that we are nothing without Grace and must not exhaust it.

Thank you for your time.


My Evening at Mandy’s Home


I have met few persons who just don’t like visiting their school, church or public libraries. I have also had conversations with parents/guardians who are desperate to ensure that their kids enjoy reading and are educationally sound. I haven’t relented in my attempt to make my friends understand that the kind of library you nurture can attract you to always consult its resources. If you have a mere collection of books covered with dusts on rickety shelves, then do not complain to me again that reading feels boring to you.

First you need to make your home or private library a healthy and attractive special unit/department in your house. Call it a sacred table or room or shelf if you want.

At this point I want to believe you already have a clue on what am driving at. Yes, you are right! It’s a topic most of us care less about. We are Nigerians aren’t we? We want to prove to the world that “we aren’t lovers of books.” But that is such a wrong impression. I want to quickly stress on the need for a “Home/Private Library.” My evening with Mandy hopefully will give you a proper understanding of the need for a home library and why we should develop a good reading culture either as an individual, a family or a group.

A True Story
Mandy is a young lady I met recently at a social gathering. She seems to be one of the smartest young ladies I have ever met. We have had relevant discussions on phone calls and chats, but just recently she invited me over to her house. She lives in her father’s mansion with her three siblings. I almost thought I was in a 5 star hotel when the gate was opened and I walked in.

She quickly introduced me to her family and also to her dog (nitty). They were all sunning their bodies at the poolside. I said hi to everyone and she walked me into the living room. Mandy informed me that their house had 11 rooms, and each of the bedrooms had a personal bathroom in it except the study room. A “study room?” That caught my interest. I smiled and requested to see their study room. My expectations were very high, and I couldn’t help but scream inside my heart when she opened the door and all therein was a fragile plastic table and a plastic chair in a very spacious room almost the size of my College Library. I swallowed all my curiosity with a deep breath, and finally asked; “You mean you waste all this space just for a table and a chair, and you call it a study room?” She smiled at me and we walked back to the living room. I didn’t feel comfortable anymore until we got really busy discussing about her study room and the need for a Home Library.

Now, dear reader, you have probably followed my story to this point, but let me advice, continue from this point forward carefully and find out the details of my conversation with Mandy:

The Conversation
Me: Wait a minute, have you ever heard of Home or Private Libraries?
Mandy: I think so
Me: Ok, are you aware that a Home Library could be one of the best comfort zone or room in a house/home?
Mandy: Hmm, meaning?

Me: Meaning a residence, whether local or modern (of this nature) should have a home library for relaxation and personal growth of family members and even visitors. Regardless of the fact that you have a study room or even books at different cupboards in your house, a home library can help children and even you to get a little farther in school. I once read the ALA updates on a recent study by researchers at the University of Nevada and UCLA entitled: “Family Scholarly Culture and Educational Success: Books and Schooling in 27 nations”. It concludes that having a library of 500 books at home gives children an educational advantage over those who don’t. The study abstract states, “Children growing up in homes with many books get 3 years more schooling than children from bookless homes, independent of their parents’ education, occupation and class. —Now, Mandy, you must know that Home Libraries encourages discussion amongst family members and this helps in providing more information, develop vocabularies, broaden horizon and like I said before, personal growth is achieved in the family.
Mandy: Really? But I never assumed it this way. Is it really possible that we could bring or create libraries in our homes? Moreover I hardly patronize my school library services. I am not a library freak and we all have our books in our drawers but do come to read in the study room.

Me: That is where you get it wrong dear. You can make your study room reflect your family’s scholarly culture. Make it a way of life for everybody, where books are regarded in high esteem and read and enjoyed. I really wished I had something like this growing up. You do not have to turn your home library to look like your school or community library. First start with this mindset, that a library is “an organized collection of information resources?” In other words, your mission should be on how to organize information resources, which comprises of your Textbooks, E-books, Credentials, Photographs, Musicals and Video Files, etc. either in your drawers/shelves, mobile phone/computer system. All these are information resources. As small as this your collection could be, there is a possibility that when you do not organize it well, accessing them and finding a particular information to solve a problem or meet a need would pose a major challenge to you.

I am not surprised you claim you are not a library freak. Tell me, is there anyone born to be a library freak? You consult libraries because all your information needs can be met in a library. Who doesn’t need information? It is very possible that you and some others out there do not patronize libraries because:
  · the environment is not conducive enough

  · library registration and procedures seems tedious

  · of the strict and shushing nature of librarians

  · of library rules and regulations

  · proximity (distance), etc.

If peradventure one of these is your excuse, then my dear, transforming your study room to a Home Library sounds like a better deal.
Mandy: Okay, I get where you’re driving at now, you are beginning to sound very patriotic and professional, “Mr. Chartered Librarian”.

Me: That’s not exactly true, I do not intend to sound too professional so I don’t get you bored. You just need to realize that managing a home library could be one of the beautiful treasures in a home and the good news is that your home library do not necessarily have to be extravagant or very expensive before it provides an enjoyable reading experience to its users. To me I don’t think there is a special design to adopt in establishing your own library. A good family or home library needs:
  · Cooperation: from each member of the family, especially dad and mum, they need to provide the necessary funds, while you and your siblings needs to in cooperation donate your books and preserve them by shelving them properly in the library.

  · Time: to search, acquire and catalogue (record) information materials that will be relevant and be of interest to family members (readers). Just like my mum, she isn’t a scholar, but I’ll tell you, that Evangelist never sees a book and takes her eyes of it, she acquires it and increases her book collections even though she doesn’t read them all.

  · Space: to keep, preserve the materials and to study.
Mandy, bear this in mind, your parents do not have to be scholars to achieve this, all they need to do is sponsor the project, read and esteem books and encourage the love of books. I once read that Anna Quindlen wrote: “I would be the most content, if my children grow up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves”.


Mandy: Wow, this is beginning to get really interesting. Though you’re quite formal, but it’s working, I feel the vibe already and I must inform my dad about this, but first mum has to hear this.

(She quickly jumps up to approach her mum in the kitchen and sold the beautiful idea of transforming their Study Room into a Home Library. Her mum was quite audible and I could hear her say… “Na today day break for your eyes…? Anyway, when you are ready, let me know, I can only give you N30,000 to get it done, you can go and meet your father for the rest.” …and Mandy runs out of the kitchen excited back to meet me.)

Mandy: Mum likes the idea and I want to start right away, but seriously I do not know what I will need or how to go about it. Can you please advise me… pleeeeease?
Me: Alright here is the deal, this isn’t my first time to propose to anyone about the relevance of libraries, you are a dear friend to me and I can only give you a few tips to consider before you start setting up your library or better still you can contract me to carry out this task for you.

Mandy: Oh yea, leaving the job for you surely sounds better, you are the professional and I guess you have been trained on this, am just a law student, what do I know about setting up a home library?
Me: Do not sound that way all of a sudden, I can still give you tips to setting up a private/family/home library. With these tips you would be able to convince your dad and even encourage your friends on what would be needed. For your space as I have seen, you will need:

  · two beautiful shelves with a unique design, well-furnished to be anchored to the wall or standing on the ground.

  · 3 reading desks and comfortable reading Chairs. Be careful on the choice of your reading chair, it should be a chair you can sit on comfortably for hours. A long relaxation cushion would be classy.

  · a computer workstation. You need this to create a database or an online catalogue for your information materials. It would also enable you connect to the internet and download relevant e-books.

  · a good illumination to limit eyestrain. Use overhead lights instead of lamps.

  · a library ladder or stool if your shelf is too high.

  · up to date dictionaries, atlases and other reference books.

  · Library Signages

My dear, it’s getting too late, and I do hope your dad gets interested in your proposal, I would have to take my leave now.

Mandy: Oh no, please stay for dinner.
Me: I want to, but I have to go, I am glad I came here today not just to say hi, but I have shared an invaluable information with you about the need for personal/family libraries. Think about all I have said. Transform your family with a home library, develop the reading culture and you will find out that your younger ones would appreciate it in future.

That we didn’t have the opportunity to be encouraged to read always doesn’t mean we shouldn’t encourage others. Go and check what King Solomon says in Proverbs 3:27.

Mandy: How sweet! I have never had a beautiful opinion on libraries like you have revealed to me today… I thank you very much and promise you, I will share this with my friends

(She walks with me to get a cab and we said goodbye. What an evening with Mandy.)

The End

Have You Ever Been Tempted To Plagiarize?


Hey, you. Yes. you, the purported author who just copied and pasted someone else’s work into your own LinkedIn post — without permission from the original author. and without giving any credit to that original author. I have a bulletin for you: You aren’t smart, or sly, or slick. You’re simply just a thief.

And no, your theft is not just an innocent mistake. Did you really think it was okay to take someone else’s work and present it as your own? Come on. You can’t claim you didn’t think the work you took was of any real value to anyone. Pretty obviously, you must have thought the writing you stole was pretty good, for why else would you pretend it was your own? By representing it as your own, you confirmed that you considered the work you stole to have significant value — value that you misappropriated for your own benefit, without in any way paying for what you took, and without even giving the original author any credit for his or her honest best efforts… Plagiarism by any name is still theft. And you, Buster, are a thief. Plain and simple.

Okay, with that off my chest, let’s talk about plagiarism and violation of copyright in general — what they are, what they’re not, how they compare to one another, and how to protect yourself as a writer against them. Please understand, though, that I do not pretend to be a lawyer, nor is this discussion intended to be legal advice. I am expressing my considered opinion and sharing my experience as a long-term professional freelance and staff magazine writer and editor.

With one of the nation’s leading schools of journalism, Northwestern University explicitly defines “plagiarism” in its written policy on Academic Integrity, as,

“…submitting material that in part or whole is not entirely one’s own work without attributing those same portions to their correct source.”

Plagiarism is not the same as violation of copyright. When an original work is published, the copyright to that work automatically accrues to the original creator in virtue of several international copyright treaties, including the Berne Convention, UCC Geneva, UCC Paris, TRIPS, and the WIPO Copyright Treaty. In the U.S. and some other countries, the original creator, or subsequent holder in due course, can “register” the copyright with the appropriate government office. This step shortens any legal action against a copyright violator by removing the “I didn’t know” excuse, because any violator could have, and should have checked the copyright register before using the material at issue. But failure to register the copyright in no way vitiates the copyright itself. If you created the work at issue, you own it and, unless you convey the copyright to another person or entity, you continue to own it. And anyone who uses that material without your permission is potentially subject to civil and, in some cases, criminal penalties.

Don’t forget, in order to achieve creator’s copyright, you have to publish the work in some public way.
Achieving creator’s copyright is straightforward, but there are a few caveats. These include the need to publish the work. Pretty obviously, it would be ludicrous to argue that you created a work, but kept it on your computer or in a drawer. So, you have to show that you were the first person to publish that work. Of course, by publishing the work, you actually increase the potential that someone will steal it. Thus, if you are working on what you believe is a valuable piece, say an investigative expose, it’s important to keep your work secret until it is published. If, that is, you don’t want to lose the creator’s copyright to someone who absconds with your work and publishes it before you.

Do not confuse plagiarism with violation of copyright; they are different and distinct.
Some works are “in the public domain”. For example, Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanac is in the public domain. That means you can use it in part or in whole in a work of your own without permission and without violating any copyright. You don’t even have to credit old Ben. But if you don’t credit Ben Franklin as the source, you will be committing plagiarism.

Against that, you might use a substantial part, or even all of a copyright work, and properly credit the original author. In such a case, you will not be plagiarizing the material in question. However, if you do use the material without first receiving written permission to do so from that author or a holder in due course of the copyright, you will be violating the copyright.

By the way, in order to eliminate disputes about who said what, the copyright laws recognize only permissions in writing. And in the absence of such, the presumption is that no permission to use the material, nor that an assignment of the copyright was given.

…in order to eliminate disputes about who said what, the copyright laws recognize only permissions in writing.
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, incidents of plagiarism and violation of copyright appear to be growing to the point of rampancy on LinkedIn, not to mention the rest of the internet. Some of this activity can, without doubt, be attributed to lack of knowledge and education in these matters. After all, just about anyone can these days self-publish on LI and other digital publishing platforms. Many people who do have absolutely no understanding of these particular issues. This is compounded by the copy-and-paste mentality fostered in this contemporary age of digital composition. Nevertheless, plagiarism and violation of copyright are stealing. Unfortunately, it is most often the case that the pursuit of legal remedies is cost-prohibitive for the damaged author or copyright holder. But that does not mean we should turn a blind eye. And we won’t.


The supporters of #stopplagiarism will be watching.


Have you ever been Tempted to Plagiarize?

It was my junior year of college, and I was preparing to burn the midnight oil to finish a paper that of course I procrastinated on until the night before it was due. At about 7:00pm there was a knock at the door. It was a friend of mine that I was in class with, and had met through the social scene at the university. He came over bearing a six pack of beer. I invited in him under the caveat that he couldn’t stay long as I had to get back to working on my paper. (This was the 90’s and before texting, when people were more likely just to stop over if they were driving by and saw your car in the driveway).

We sat down and had a beer. He invited me to go to one of our favorite college bars, and meet up with more of our friends. I thanked him for stopping by and the beer. Then, I declined his offer, and explained again that I had to finish the paper that was due at 9:00am the next morning. I gave him some props for being on top of it having already finished his so that he could go out and have fun at the bar. Then he said, “you can still go.” I was puzzled. He then motioned me over to my computer, and proceeded to pull up this website where there were 1000’s of papers that one could download for only $9.99.

He said he had been using this website for over a year. He had not been caught and all his papers had been A’s except one that he intentionally put a few errors into. He sat there telling me how easy it was, and that there was no way anybody would know.

So, there I was faced with a choice. Download an “A paper” for $9.99 and then go have fun at the bar with my friends, or stay at home by myself to finish the paper. Did I mention there was going to be girls there? Also, it wouldn’t have been the first time I had given in to a little peer pressure at that age.

Luckily, my inner academic moral code kicked in and I declined his offer. So, he went on his way, partied the night away, and chased chicks, while I stayed up until 3:00am to finish the paper. I knew that there was a chance that nobody would find out. However, I also knew that I would have to live with that on my conscious. Somehow my college degree wouldn’t feel quite like mine.

That split moment decision to resist peer pressure and taking the easy way out, proved to be a very good one. My friend got caught a few weeks later by the university. His professors had discovered the plagiarism. He was suspended for the remainder of the semester and failed all of his courses. He started working at one of the local bars and didn’t re-enroll in college. I’m not sure if he ever did.

The point here is that in life the easy way out is never worth it. Anything, worth having is achieved from hard work. There are smarter and more strategic ways of getting things done, but at the end of the day achievement still involves hard work. Plagiarism is the easy way out. It might be a short term fix for some, but it never works out in the long run.

Stealing someone else’s work off the internet (or anywhere else for that matter) by copying and pasting it, then claiming it as your own, and using it for personal gain is WRONG! It is cheating and stealing!

When supporters of #stopplagiarism find an example of plagiarism or violation of copyright on LinkedIn, we will act to keep it from passing without notice. Those who blunder into such actions unknowingly will be advised of the facts and given an opportunity to correct the unfortunate situation. Those who refuse to make necessary corrections, or who continue cynically to commit plagiarism and violation of copyright, with full knowledge of what they are doing, will be called to account publicly by being noticed on the Stop Plagiarism Wall of Shame. Those of you who, with us, find plagiarism and violation of copyright unacceptable, are invited to join the effort to stop, or at least discourage their continued spread on LinkedIn.

Text Copyright © 2015 by Phil Friedman (So why is Plagiarism such a Big deal?) and John White (Have you ever been tempted to Plagiarize) — All Rights Reserved

New Study Shows E- readers Help Children Learn To Read

For the last two years, we’ve been
running a rigorous study called iREAD 2 , examining the impact of Worldreader’s e-reader program on students in Ghana.

Today, we are excited to announce the
final results of that study. Literacy is a foundational skill that sets up children for lifelong success. Unfortunately, few children in sub-Saharan Africa have access to even the most basic tools they need to learn to read, including books and reading materials. The iREAD Ghana Study 2012-2014 (iREAD 2) addressed the lack of reading materials and low levels of literacy among Ghana’s early primary school students by providing e-readers filled with hundreds of pieces of relevant content, phonics and literacy instruction for teachers, and extracurricular reading activities. iREAD 2 was designed based on our learnings from iREAD 1 , which showed that e-readers work best when combined with other curricular support and activities.

The project’s evaluation showed the
following outcomes:

Students with the Worldreader
intervention could read better:
Worldreader students started off reading an average 17 words per minute in Twi (their mother tongue), and by the end of the intervention could read an average of 34 words per minute. In English, students could read 17 words per minute at the start of the program and just over 41 by the end. Gaining 15 – 20 words per minute makes a big difference when it comes to early grade reading, as the image below shows (where the blue text represents the gains in words per minute).


They could understand more of what they were reading:
In both Twi and English, students in the
treatment group more than doubled their reading comprehension scores. Students went from answering 20.0% of Twi questions correctly at the baseline to 43.0% correct at the final, and from 16.6% to 43.5% on English comprehension questions.

The lowest performing students reaped
significant benefits from the Worldreader intervention:
The proportion of treatment students who could not read a single word in Twi
decreased dramatically from 64.6% to
8.9%. For the sake of comparison, the gains of students in the Worldreader program were measured against a control group, which did not receive the e-readers or other intervention components. The learnings presented in the report not only point to the efficacy of the e-reader intervention
for improving early grade literacy skills
and increasing access to books, but also provide insights towards a way forward that will allow Worldreader and partners to reach more students, in more corners of Ghana and sub-Saharan Africa, with cost-effective and impactful digital reading programs.

Worldreader would like to thank World
Vision , USAID , and AusAID , who
generously provided the funding for
iREAD2 through an All Children Reading
grant. Baseline and midterm reports for
iREAD 2, as well as reports from our other studies, are posted on our Learnings Page.

By Sarah Jaffe & Zev Lowe


Facebook Developing App That Allows Anonymity

Hidden Identity
Hidden Identity

Facebook has long attempted to be the place where, above all else, you try to be yourself. Soon, Facebook will allow you to be yourself, but under a different name.

The company is working on a stand-alone mobile application that allows users to interact inside of it without having to use their real names, according to two people briefed on Facebook’s plans, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the project.

The app, which is expected to be released in the coming weeks, reveals a different, experimental take on Facebook’s long-established approach to identity. Facebook has pushed its main site as a way to establish your online identity, and to map out the connections you have to other friends and family, both on and offline.

“It’s part of what made Facebook special in the first place,” Chris Cox, Facebook’s chief product officer, said in a recent post that discussed issues of identity on the social network. “By differentiating the service from the rest of the internet where pseudonymity, anonymity, or often random names were the social norm.”

This is still the case on Facebook’s main site, which has more than a billion accounts. But the new app is proof that the company is willing to explore alternatives.

The project is being led by Josh Miller, a product manager at Facebook who joined the company when it acquired Branch, his start-up which focused on products that fostered small, online discussion groups. Mr. Miller and the rest of his team have been working on the product in its different forms for the last year, said the people briefed on the plans.

The point, according to these people, is to allow Facebook users to use multiple pseudonyms to openly discuss the different things they talk about on the Internet; topics of discussion which they may not be comfortable connecting to their real names.

A Facebook spokesman said the company does not comment on rumor or speculation. Mr. Miller did not respond to an email request for comment.

There are many unknowns as to how the new app will interact, if at all, with Facebook’s main site. It is unclear if the app will allow anonymous photo sharing, or how friend interactions and existing friend connections will work.

Anonymous online conversations have long been a feature of sites around the web. Reddit, a huge online community, lets all of its users sign up pseudonymously. Other message boards also allow users to use whatever name they want. Secret and Whisper, two start-ups that require no identifying names for users, have seen bursts of activity and user discussion particularly because real names are not required to use the services.

Facebook — and in particular, Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s chief executive — has recognized the utility of offering anonymity to users. This year, Mr. Zuckerberg said it would allow developers to incorporate an anonymous log in feature into third-party applications, which would let users try out different apps while limiting what information they handed over.

Recent events have highlighted Facebook’s struggles in dealing with identity issues on the network. After weeks of protest, Facebook said last week that it would allow members of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities to use names which they have adopted, but are not their legal ones, to identify themselves on the social network. In his Facebook post, Mr. Cox said the company would amend its real-name policy in the future, though was unclear as to how Facebook would handle it.

It is possible this new app will be useful into health community discussions, according to the people briefed on the new app. Reuters reported about that feature last week.

But the new app will likely be useful beyond health communities, these people said, and is more about different contexts in which not using one’s real name is beneficial.

It is unclear how Facebook will protect users from spammers or trolls who could exploit the new service. For the last decade, Facebook has used its real-name policy in part to prohibit abuse and pollution of its network from bad actors.

“The stories of mass impersonation, trolling, domestic abuse, and higher rates of bullying and intolerance are oftentimes the result of people hiding behind fake names, and it’s both terrifying and sad,” Mr. Cox said in his Facebook post last week.

13 Things Not to Do at a Networking Event, Ever

You’re probably not going to avoid awkward networking situations entirely, no matter how hard you try–at some point, you will get cornered by the one person in the room who just can’t resist making a sales pitch.


But what you can do is ensure that you aren’t the one making others cringe, and that you’re focusing whatever face time you do get on building real relationships. So before you grab that stack of business cards, read these 13 networking don’ts from members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC):

1. Don’t go to networking events with friends.
Too often, people are intimidated by networking events, so they ask friends to come along. Then they spend the whole event talking to no one but the people they already know. I try to make a point to go to networking events by myself when I can. This forces me to branch out and meet new people, and I’ve made some really amazing connections this way.–Allie Siarto, Fare Oak

2. Don’t try to meet everyone in sight; curate connections instead.
I used to introduce myself to lots of people at networking events, gathering business cards so I could call them later. Then I realized that a brief conversation doesn’t really develop a relationship, and calling people you’ve only met briefly isn’t much different from cold calling them. Now, I make sure to spend good quality time with a few people rather than a little time with a lot of people.–Vladimir Gendelman, Company Folders, Inc.

3. Don’t forget to follow up.
Follow up with the people you connect with. Do something to maintain that connection. Add their contact information to your address book or add them on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter. Whatever it is, do something to keep that connection alive.–Lane Campbell, Syntress SCDT

4. Don’t waste time with sales-oriented people.
I’ve learned not to spend too much time networking with people who are solely concerned with selling me on something.–Matthew Moisan, Moisan Legal, P.C.

5. Don’t be a stalker.
I never practice stalker networking, which may be defined as endlessly pursuing contact with someone who has not responded to you. I follow the 3/6 rule of networking: Contact a new person (online, never by phone) three times in a period of six weeks. If you don’t hear back, move on to someone more receptive.–Alexandra Levit, Inspiration at Work

6. Don’t network.
Networking is completely useless. I would much prefer to get in the trenches with people. That’s not networking, that’s getting to know what people are made of through action and behavior, not cocktails and small talk. When I go to a conference, it’s because I want a seat at the table there. When I attend an event, it’s to learn and teach. I often take time to help people, but I never “network.”–Corey Blake, Round Table Companies

7. Don’t interrupt. Ever.
Think about all the times you’ve been interrupted. It’s not fun. Actively and patiently listening communicates that you respect the other person and are giving them the gift of your attention and presence. People can tell, and they appreciate it.–Andrew Thomas, SkyBell Technologies, Inc.

8. Don’t be intimidated.
Even the most awe-inspiring, powerful, and successful people are just that … people. You probably have a lot to learn from them, but there’s sure to be something that they can learn from you, too.–Bhavin Parikh, Magoosh Inc

9. Don’t be a card spammer.
It’s never a good idea to work a room by handing out your cards or to quickly toss your card to someone who’s not asked for it (it will likely get thrown away in that case). It’s important to build a rapport with someone before you take the step of offering a card or asking for a further action like a meeting.–Darrah Brustein, Network Under 40/Finance Whiz Kids

10. Don’t talk so much.
Don’t be overly enthusiastic to talk about yourself and your company. It’s almost always better to ask more questions than you’re answering.–Shane Adams, Sagacious Consultants

11. Don’t be subtle. Be explicit.
When a lot of people network, they’re afraid to step up and accomplish what they want to do or say. As somebody who’s sometimes on the other side of that, it’s annoying. When people are clear with me and tell me exactly what they want, I always want to help. When somebody’s trying to be subtle, it hurts my ability to provide whatever benefit they’re looking to achieve in the networking.–Dan Price, Gravity Payments

12. Don’t ask to “pick my brain.”

The problem with asking, “Can I pick your brain?” is that it’s extremely vague and frankly, it doesn’t sound all that appealing. If you’re going to make a request to someone for their time and look to build a long-term relationship, be specific about what you would like to discuss in your informational meeting, cocktail, or coffee. You’ll get a lot more people saying yes to your request.–Antonio Neves, THINQACTION

13. Don’t hound the speakers.

The speaker is getting a lot of attention, but many times the people who can and are most willing to help you are not on stage–they are sitting beside you. Don’t think the speaker is the only one who can change your life.–Mike Ambassador Bruny, Ambassador Bruny Dot Com

You can’t always avoid bad networkers, but you can certainly avoid being one.