I know, I know… using LinkedIn is fun, right? That’s why so many power users spend several hours a week on it, right?
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
In honor of this month’s b5media Business Channel May theme day on “Work & Play“, I thought I’d do something a little different and take a look at some ways to use LinkedIn to enhance your personal life, not just your business.
- Reconnect with old classmates or colleagues. Your odds are probably just about as good of finding them on LinkedIn as on Classmates or Reunion.com (but try them too if you don’t find them on LinkedIn). Who knows? You might even find your childhood sweetheart on there!
Connect withMeet new people with common interests or to learn a new skill. Who says all your searches have to be about business? Want to learn about skydiving or scuba diving? There are hundreds, maybe thousands (all I know is it’s more than 500) of people on there who can tell you about each of them. Some of them are even instructors. Limit the search to your local area and see who your common connections are, and that will help you have a better experience meeting that person.
- Play “Who am I connected to?” Think of an incredibly high-profile person you’d like to meet (and ostensibly have some reason to) and use LinkedIn to try to get an introduction. You may have to go one degree short of them, though. For example, Bill Gates isn’t a member, but several other past and present Microsoft executives are, as well as over 100 past and present Gates Foundation employees. Donald Trump? Not a member, but several past winners of “The Apprentice” are, as well as dozens of Trump Organization employees. Give it a shot – what have you got to lose?
- Join one of the dozens of LinkedIn discussion groups. Whether you’re into success books, philosophy or just plain FUN, there’s a Yahoo Group where you can connect with other LinkedIn users who share that interest. Some are less active, others quite active, but if one of them strikes your fancy, you can certainly go spark up the discussion yourself. That can be fun too!
- Make a bet with your kid to see whether you get better answers on LinkedIn Answers or Yahoo Answers. He told me there were a lot more people on Yahoo, and that there were some really smart ones who often give high-quality answers. I said I didn’t doubt him, but I thought that even with fewer members, LinkedIn would produce better answers. You be the judge: Yahoo or LinkedIn? OK, so maybe you don’t have to make a bet with your kid, but still, even though the categories are limited somewhat to business-oriented topics, you can use LinkedIn Answers to ask questions that have nothing to do with your business, just to satisfy your curiosity.
What about you? How do you have fun with LinkedIn?