Sunday, June 12, 2011

Get LinkedIn with Pro-Life Professionals

A pro-life advocate, particularly in the medical and legal fields, often feels alone. The same holds true in academia. But we are more numerous than may at first meet the eye. Moreover, we have much to learn from each other and can benefit also from mutual encouragement. LinkedIn can bring us together. 

What is LinkedIn?
Think, “Facebook for professionals.” As a member of this online community, you can:
  • post your resume to a professional profile page
  • search for employment and networking opportunities
  • establish “connections” with other members who have similar credentials or interests, and build your network by getting “connected” to people with whom they are “connected”
  • join (or create) an online discussion group within your field of expertise (a “public” group’s proceedings are visible to everyone online; a “private” group is available only to the subset of LinkedIn members approved by the group manager)
  • publish or respond to announcements and inquiries—showcasing your latest products or publications, seeking collaboration in your research, or planning an upcoming event
  • stay current with LinkedIn activity either by signing on regularly or else by setting your account preferences to have notifications emailed to you

How does a person join LinkedIn?
Enrolling in LinkedIn is easy:
  1. Visit
  2. Enter your first and last names, an email address, and a password. (Your email address can be hidden or visible to other LinkedIn members at your discretion. LinkedIn will prompt you to establish your preference later.)
  3. Click “Join Now.”

How do people network on LinkedIn?
  1. Based on the information you enter for your profile (such as education and employment history), LinkedIn will suggest other users whom you may know. Click to “connect” with them at your discretion.
  2. Once you have a base of “connections,” LinkedIn also will suggest that you connect to people with whom your connections are connected. Similarly, when you view another person’s profile, LinkedIn will label that person as your connection, or else as a 2nd or 3rd level connection (a connection of a connection or a connection of a connection of a connection).
  3. By joining groups relevant to your field of expertise, you also will find people whom you may invite into your network of connections, or else simply interact with them through the group discussion.
  4. LinkedIn offers several search features, including searches for people, for companies, for jobs, and for groups.
  5. Depending upon the account privacy settings you choose, connections may be able to see your email address or phone number, or else send you direct emails. LinkedIn also offers a direct messaging feature (similar to email) that is accessible when you are logged on.

Which LinkedIn groups are best suited for pro-life advocates?
I recommend Pro-Life Professionals and, for current or past university and college professors, the University Faculty for Life subgroup within Pro-Life Professionals. To join:
  1. Sign on to your LinkedIn account.
  2. Visit to join Pro-Life Professionals.
  3. Visit to become a member of University Faculty for Life (a scholarly organization), then visit to join the LinkedIn subgroup for University Faculty for Life members.
I also recommend searching for other groups in your field. For example, join a medical group, or a public policy group, or a sociology group.

Why delay? Get LinkedIn, stay informed, be encouraged, and work together to promote a culture of life!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Tweeting for Life: "That He May Run Who Reads It"

Twitter was not designed for great literature, at least not if “great” means long.

Of course, sometimes brevity is supremacy. The shortest verse in the Bible—“Jesus wept” (John 11:35)—speaks volumes about the union of the divine and human natures in the Person of Jesus Christ ... about the appropriate response to the death of one’s close friend ... indeed, also about the significance of death, that most unwelcome intruder into the creation of which God once had spoken, “it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).

If St. Luke can tweet “Jesus wept” on first-century papyrus, providing the inspiration for countless sermons in the two millennia that followed, then surely the Gospel of Life can appropriately be reduced on occasion to the 140-character limit of a Twitter tweet. Or, as the LORD instructed the Prophet Habakkuk:

Write the vision
And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it. (Habakkuk 2:2)

That is why I signed up for a Twitter account. Join me, and we’ll tweet and retweet about God’s gracious gift of life.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How to Write a Blog Post That People Will Read

If I haven’t captured your attention by now, then how likely are you to read any further?

The “How To” title attracts interest. So does the question in the opening sentence. What’s more, I’ve included a simple but colorful illustration immediately following a brief opening paragraph. Now you’ll probably at least skim the headings and bullet points below, right?

What Makes Blogging a Unique Writing Style?

In graduate school, I wrote a 400-page doctoral dissertation. My recent publications range from devotional articles in church magazines to scholarly chapters in academic books. A blog is a different sort of animal entirely.

Blogs are short. The whole blog is short. Its paragraphs are short. Are the sentences usually short, too? Yes, and often grammatically incomplete. Subheadings must be more frequent, and bullet lists (such as the one in the following section) guide the eyes toward the most important information. The reader seeks this quickly, and then decides to stay or click elsewhere.

But don’t take my word for it.

Learn from Others

People like to be bossed around. Finding, and following, an expert gives people a sense of security. Notice that at this very moment you are reading a paragraph introduced by this instruction: “Learn from Others.” Notice that this and the preceding sentence began with a command, “Notice.”

For additional tips, consult:

Improve Your Blogging One Post at a Time

Have you come to Prolife Promotions seeking better ways to promote and defend God’s gift of life? Then your message is important.

Don’t delay for fear of writing a blog that fails to conform to all the rules of style. Instead, start today, and with each new post incorporate one of the lessons learned from the resource linked above.

Begin here.