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Linked in

Dave Taylor has a post on “Etiquette for LinkedIn and the Professional Networking World” which I found interesting.

I’ve actually been using LinkedIn for a few months now and while I understand it’s features and functions I’m yet to find that it’s actually been much use to me. I’m interested to hear how other people have used it. I can see it’s a pretty powerful tool on many fronts – but I’m just curious to see if people actually use it for much more than just seeing how many people they can connect with?

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Comments

  1. Matt says:

    I like it as it’s been able to introduce me to many that I didn’t know before.’

    I am, however, beginning to get spammed by people trying to sell their services to me via linkedin – highly irritating.

    Matt

  2. I have been a linked in member for over a year. To be honest I gave up on it. One of its purposes is to be able to build business opportunities by introducing people and possible services (if you don’t want that then of course you can select not to be contacted about it – so spam should not be an issue). So it could be a service or product you would like to introduce or request the assistance or participation of someone.

    My experience is that I found that people on the chain often did not pass a request through, or the person the request reached never responded.

    So in terms of business usefulness, I would have to give it a 2/10

  3. Mariano says:

    For me is like stop someone at the street and say to him “Hi pleased to meet you, I don’t know you, you don’t know me, but there’s a bunch of people that know us, let’s be friends” I still don’t get it, Nevertheless, it could be useful to find jobs….

  4. Brad D. says:

    What Mariano said. In reality if you have a product you want to get out there, there are way more outlets availabe to do that where people are searching for your specific product. For example if you want to wholesale, you’d go to Alibaba. Just one off the top of my head. Then people can search for the product. I don’t like random barrages of useless things.

  5. Simon Heap says:

    It all sounds great and I’ve been trying to use Linkedin for the past six months or so, but…..It does not really work, for me at least. I have encouraged segments of my contacts to join (based on propensity of adoption) however, I get very low response rates. So my linked in contacts is about 1/100th of my contact base. But what’s worse is about 80% of my contacts have no other contacts. So any benefits of tracking changed contact details or being able to leverage introductions is minimal.

  6. Christian says:

    I haven’t made any valuable contacts on Friendster or LinkIn. The only online friends-of-friends network that’s really been rewarding for me was Myspace, just because it helped me find old friends — not professional contacts. But at least it was helpful for something.

    On the other hand, I never really expected to get any value from joining any of these networks, I just joined them because a friend or colleague bugged me about it.

  7. Mark Daoust says:

    I am a member of Linked In, but I haven’t really used its features. I guess I got pulled in just because I received an invite.

    I was looking at some of my 2nd level contacts today and realized that there are actually some people that I would love to be introduced to. I might try contacting them using that feature of the service. If I do, I’ll let you know how it goes. :)

  8. Loren Baker says:

    I’m sure it will come in handy one day if I ever am looking for contracting work or am in need of a job. Something more vertical would be much more effective though.

  9. I suspect that 80% of Linked In’s users are people like the commenters above: they have tried it for some weeks, made some contacts, and then simply left it as it was.
    In my view the problem is that Linked In is a cold and passive medium. If I only contact you you since you know somebody I am interested in, you probably won’t run so hard for me. I think good old fashioned networking is much more efficient since it is more personal and interactive: if I contact you regularly to know how you are, to pass you an interesting lead, to chat on your birthday and to tell you what I am up to, you are likely to think about me when talking to that intersting contact of you.

  10. Timothy Post says:

    Being a member of LinkedIn is kind of like owning a great car but not having anywhere to drive it.

    I recently sent LinkedIn an email suggesting that they create a field within a member’s profile which would allow him/her to share his/her del.icio.us username and another field/link which would be a user’s opml file of which rss feeds they subscribe to currently. There might also be one for flickr.

    Additionally, I suggested that they make the groups section more inclusive by allow members to request affiliation to a group and a trial membership with certain restrictions.

    The bottom-line issue for me is that the basic matching technology of LinkedIn is superb but the surrounding member profiles are not interesting enough. Too stilted and static.

    LinkedIn needs to fully make the transition from web1.0 to web2.0. Perhaps they could take a page out of eBay’s book and open up their API.

  11. Kashif says:

    I am on LinkedIn for more than a year but havent been stumbled upon any link so far that can be termed as professionally or financially beneficial. Maybe I am not ‘promoting’ myself as hard as I should.

  12. Thom Singer says:

    LinkedIn and the other “social networking” sites were all the rage a few years ago. People really believed that technology and the internet could replace the importance of human contact in networking. In the end, LinkedIn is just a tool that allows you to see whom your friends know. It is not the end all to how you can have lunch with the Dali Lama or George W Bush. It is not the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon for your own business life.

    If you are more than once removed, it’s power is gone. If you see that a huge potential client is on the list of your buddy….then you can ask your buddy for an introduction. I recommend calling your friend to set up the meeting….not just using LinkedIn (cold and not personal…..real networking is building strong relationships with people who are happy to refer you business because they know, like and trust you.).

    It takes work and commitment to build a real network. You cannot sidestep the effort by joining some website.

  13. Greg Hoffman says:

    I was ecstatic to find a potential local employer in my network a few months ago. I sent the message for an intro but by the time it was forwarded I was already meeting with the jerk. Needless to say, I don’t work with that company now.
    Maybe someday my LinkedIn connections will work…

  14. Mike Notaro says:

    I’ve been on linkedin for about 9 months now, and the first three months I really had no idea what I was doing or how to do it.

    As a head-hunter, the tool is phenominal. When I need someone with a specific background, I’ll do a search by area and keyword and low and behold I get a list of people in the area with the skills I need. Most people list their current employer and usually are connected to their colleagues so I call into the company asking to speak with the individual there. I usually make sure to ask for an email address at the end of the conversation and following that send them an invitation to join my linkedin network.

    So long as they accept my invitation, I’m granted access to their primary and secondary contacts/colleagues, and even if the person I contacted isn’t interested in the role I’m presenting, I now have an internal list of candidates to chose from and call the following day. This isn’t fool proof obviously, but it works fairly well, especially when my client requests candidates from specific competetitors. Candidates on the job boards are there for a reason and everyone with an HR budget has seen them. It’s those passive candidates who work quietly nested deeply within their companies and hidden from public view that have the skill sets I need.

    Building a strong network is the hardest part, but once you have, linkedin becomes a truly invaluable tool that I’ve come to use on a daily basis. Some of the quickest ways to build a stronger network that I use are toplinkedin.com, and the LIONs(Linked In Open Networkers) yahoo group.

    It’s been a while since anyone has posted commentary to this blog, but if anyone reads this, please feel free to connect to me on linkedin.

    Michael Notaro
    [email protected]