LinkedIn: Social Networking for All

LinkedIn

Many of us have come across LinkedIn at some point or another. You may have heard about it through a friend of colleague, added a contact or 2, and then let your account lay dormant. If you ever hope to promote yourself and/or your blog, you have to get up and get involved!

To get you started, here is a link to my LinkedIn profile – feel free to add me to your network!

View NowSourcing's profile on LinkedIn

(I’ve permanently added it to the sidebar as well, which I hope will be a time saver for you.)


LinkedIn has a lot of good things going on:

Most importantly, their service usage is growing. Site traffic is heating up:

  • Alexa rank weighing in at #141, and the 26th most popular site in the US.
  • Compete shows a similar trend at #611 (up 5,453 for the year).
  • Hitwise is showing huge growth as well.

Guy Kawasaki, former Chief Evangelist at Apple had some funny things to say about LinkedIn as well as some tips:

“The average number of LinkedIn connections for people who work at Google is forty-seven.

The average number for Harvard Business School grads is fifty-eight, so you could skip the MBA, work at Google, and probably get most of the connections you need. Later, you can hire Harvard MBAs to prepare your income taxes.

There are some drawbacks to LinkedIn:

  • Aside from the LinkedIn answers section, the site is missing RSS feeds. It would make sense for me to view my contacts, their activities, an invitations to others not yet accepted instead of logging in to the site all the time.
  • A better way to opt out. It still is pretty annoying that you need to email customer service to have your account closed. Seems like enough people have disliked this method that LinkedIn would take some action.

RSS feeds can be added. Customer service can be improved. The point here is that LinkedIn has become a bona fide service that is worth participating in.

15 Comments

  1. I don’t know, I have found linked in less than useful.

  2. @amanda: ok, but how much time do you put into your participation on LinkedIn? Building a network takes work. Imagine it is your job to grow your network. I relate the level of participation needed to this: if you were at a 9-5 job and didn’t put in real work, you’d probably be let go after a while.

  3. for how long have you been using linkedin.. have you seen any real benefit till now.

  4. I agree, Linkedin can be a very valuable resource for finding people in your related industries as well as new job opportunities. I have been a member for more than a year now and many job related relationships and opportunities have opened up along the way. Great way to keep in touch with former coworkers too.

  5. @blogzr: I’ve been on and off linked in for a year or maybe a little more. I wasn’t using it heavily until pretty recently. The last few months, I’ve really been seeing good activity. Whether it brings in business, lets me connect with former co-workers, or helps me to supplement my business – LinkedIn seems to be paying off.

    @alex: well put, thanks for sharing!

    @metagg: thanks for the ping!

  6. Linkedin is a useless site and a BIG waste of time!

  7. @alex: I felt like that about a year ago, and then started seeing it grow again. That was the purpose of this post – to show that there has been much improvement and growth in LinkedIn.

    Why do you feel that it is useless and a big waste of time?

  8. Yes, I agree with the positive comments here. I’m in the job market and am using every resource possible to connect. Yesterday, I discovered a 2nd degree connection is an exec at a company where my resume has been presented. That, I believe, is the objective is it not?

  9. @Denise: Glad to hear that you found a connection in a company that you are looking at. To answer your question: yes, you can absolutely use LinkedIn to do a bit of detective work for a prospective company or event a client if you own your own business.

    However, I suggest that you don’t invite this exec into your network until you feel enough of a comfort level. As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t just blindly add people to your network. Even requesting that they join your network at this point might be more of an annoyance for them, so proceed with caution if this is your intent.

  10. I’ve found LinkedIn to be a very valuable resource. I’ve been a member since Dec. 2003 and have about 700 connections. It’s been great for getting back in touch and staying in touch with former colleagues as they move around, and lately I’ve been getting “pinged” by people who’ve seen my profile on LinkedIn and are interested in my consulting firm.

    So all in all, it’s worth the effort to build and maintain the network, and the price (free) is right.

    I’m sure at some point I’ll pony up the cash for a paid membership, but I haven’t reached that point yet.

  11. @dan: December 2003 makes you quite a LinkedIn veteran! Agreed that it is worth the effort of profile building.

    Sidenote: the only thing I don’t like about all the profile building is the amount of repetitive work I must do for every networking site. Sure, they have ways to get users out of your email and instant messaging accounts, but every time I have to create profiles all over again and weed things out.

  12. Yes, it’s a pain to have to set up a new profile every time. Personally, I _only_ used LinkedIn, so I haven’t had to deal with that yet. It would be great if there was an XML format you could use to export your profile from LinkedIn, then import into any other networking site. But I’m not sure it would be in LinkedIn’s interest to build that.

    LinkedIn keeps getting cooler, but not as fast as I’d like.

    Just tried Meebo tonight, and really liked it for being able to IM with people reading my blog while they’re reading it.

  13. @dan: good to see you back.

    You are correct about the XML imports – doesn’t make much sense for LinkedIn to spend development time and money on a system in which they lose visitors.

    LinkedIn has been getting cooler (especially the Answers section similar to Yahoo Answers), but I must say that Facebook may have them beat. The community is vibrant and growing at an incredible rate. There are many third-party applications that fit in nicely.

    Glad to hear you tried out Meebo. I had it on my blog sidebar for a while, but found that it slowed down the page load too much.

  14. As a businessman i find all the professional networks like linkedin.com, xing.com, livebiznet.com, fastpitchnetworking.com very interesting. You can increase your network, promote yourself on the web and at very less cost. I would definitely recommend all the above networks… You are losing nothing!

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