In the sea of ongoing debate as to which is “better”, LinkedIn or Facebook, one of my favorite business bloggers, Anita Campbell, has the best, most balanced analysis of the two systems that I’ve seen. Her conclusion:
I can see value in both Facebook and LinkedIn. Facebook seems suited for furthering relationships and for getting to know the complete you. LinkedIn is suited for maintaining an online resume of your professional credentials and for finding employers, employees, service providers, and those who can introduce you. My plan is to use both.
While this is a pretty high-level summary kind of article, it has one paragraph that’s a great example of a creative way to use LinkedIn:
A colleague of mine wanted to learn about customer service issues facing a communications service provider. He posted a question on LinkedIn Answers that resulted in dozens responses within a day. He was then able to engage the head of customer experience at that provider in a very well-informed discussion.
The focus of this article is on how employers need to change with the times, including revamping the traditional job listing, using social media and employer branding. An interesting observation, though, which I hadn’t thought of in quite these terms, was this:
There is lots of chatter about how resumes are on their way out. There will be blogs, and videos, and LinkedIn profiles and other mechanisms to downplay the concept of a linear career and put upfront the way someone thinks and the ideas he or she has.
The Concord Monitor has published one of the very best mainstream media articles I’ve yet seen about LinkedIn. It gives several stories of how people are using it successfully, but also shows that there is still some resistance to it:
“I still get folks when I mention LinkedIn, they go, ‘What’s that? Is that kind of like MySpace? I don’t know if I want to do that,’ ” he said. “And there’s sort of this inherent fear of getting invites from people and inviting people – what if that person doesn’t respond, how do you treat that – it’s like going back to junior high school.”
But the professional nature of LinkedIn lends it some legitimacy, Newton said. It’s a “clearinghouse” of contact information that users update themselves, he said.
This article’s definitely worth a read.
From Joseph Lopez (?) on a discussion on the Manager Tools Forums:
While I’m happy not to have burned bridges over time, most of the bridges got run down due to neglect. Linked In is a good way for me to rebuild those bridges in a not so intrusive way.
I think that’s one of the most concise, eloquent descriptions of the value and purpose of LinkedIn that I’ve seen.