LinkedIn Connections 6-6-2007

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560026_links.gifTime for another irregular roundup of blog posts and articles about LinkedIn from around the web.

Online networking now used by 65% of professionals

Hat tip to Community Stew for this one.

The Institute for Corporate Productivity reports that nearly 2/3 of professionals are now using social networking web sites, with LinkedIn the leader by far.

“We expected to see a number of respondents utilizing social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook for personal reasons, but we were intrigued at the high percentage of business professionals that use social networking for professional purposes,” says Jay Jamrog, i4cp’s SVP of Research. “In an age where more and more employees work remotely and people frequently change companies, it makes sense that the business community would turn to the Web to stay connected.”

What’s also interesting is what they’re using it for:

About half (52%) of respondents whose organizations are using social networking sites do so to keep internal staff and remote employees connected, while 47% of total respondents use the networks to connect with potential clients and to showcase their skills. A total of 35% say they use networks to assist them in finding a job.

Over half (55%) of those using the networks do so to share best practices with colleagues, and 49% use them to get answers to issues they are currently facing. This is an area that experts think could help social networking really take off inside corporations.

The study also validated what I’ve been saying for the past four years:

Of those respondents who do not currently utilize social networks, the top reason (37%) is simply that they don’t know what networks to use. The majority of respondents (59%) said they would likely use social networks if they knew that such use would assist their professional development (31% say they already do), and a full 77% would welcome using them if they thought the networks could aid organizational efficiency.

In other words, even though they’re very easy to use, the real challenge lies in figuring out how to make good business use of them. Job security for me! 🙂

LinkedIn Primer, Lesson 1: Is your profile complete?

Jennifer A. Brown has posted the first of six planned lessons on the basics of using LinkedIn. She starts with the profile, which I agree is the best place to start. Incomplete profile = minimal value from your LinkedIn presence. LinkedIn offers a guide as to what makes a profile “complete”:

  • Current position
  • Two past positions
  • Education
  • A profile summary
  • Specialties
  • Three recommendations

Jennifer’s suggestion:

You don’t have to put every little thing on your profile, and probably shouldn’t. But you should put what you have on your resume on there. Follow the same rules as you would about for good resume writing, and you’re set.

Using LinkedIn Answers to look smart

Jason Alba at JibberJobber gives a step-by-step tutorial on how to make sure your questions on LinkedIn Answers are public so that they’re viewable by everyone.

57,100 contacts in 2 weeks

Janet Beckers is impressed with the results of her first two weeks as a LinkedIn member. Of course, Janet actually uses it to build relationships, not just collect links:

As with all effective networking I have grown this network by using the philosophy of giving before I receive. When a person is added to my list that I know, I take the time to write a recommendation for them. If I have used their services, dealt with them as a colleague or if they have been a client, I can usually find something to say in their favour. This is really valuable as people searching for their services will be able to read my recommendation and be more likely to contact them about working together. The nice thing, is most people return the favour.

Can social networks be exploited by terrorists?

Alex Iskold posts the provocative idea that social networks could be used for nefarious purposes by terrorists:

Just like we are using LinkedIn to establish business connections, terrorists might use it to figure out who is connected to whom. When you search for a person, LinkedIn tells you how you are connected to them. What can be exploited is the fact that if you are just one degree away from someone, you know who they know. This information can be used to reconstruct a subset of the network. Granted this is not easy to do, but it is possible.

Sounds like another good reason not to make your network available for browsing by your connections! Anyway, though, I don’t doubt that it could be used like this — what a question is how much value that would really be to a terrorist.

On LinkedIn, you can’t be sure you’re not linking with a dog

Ferdinand J. Reinke takes a very funny, but insightful look at a taxonomy of the types of people you find on LinkedIn, including some of the, um, “less than accurate” profiles. Me, I fall into this category:

Real people, like me! Seekers, loafers, helpers, tryers, stumbling blocks, mean well, dumb as rocks. Real people in strange places like New Jersey with all sorts of connections, motivations, and understandings.

LinkedIn accepts their Webbys

LinkedIn received Webby awards in the Services and Social Networking categories. The winners of the 5-word acceptance speech contest, which were used at the awards ceremony, are:

* David Multer: “Thanks for the endorsement!” (Services)
* Kay Luo: “Come connect with me tonight” (Social Networking)

CEO Dan Nye says LinkedIn not for sale

According to CNN Money, reporting on the large number of web company mergers happening this year:

Dan Nye, the chief executive officer of LinkedIn, a company that is popular among the business community since it allows professionals to set up networks for contacting one another, said his firm is intent on not selling out and instead is hoping to eventually go public.

Of course that’s what he’d say. As Marc Freedman put it on LinkedInnovators:

When you read that a company says it is not selling and wants to go public it can mean virtually anything, such as:

  • the company CAN’T sell and has no other choice
  • the company CAN’T sell at the price it wants
  • the company IS selling but cannot make that public
  • the company is not selling and wants to go public NOW, but will change when it gets an offer it likes
  • the IPO market is still poor, it’s unlikely that the company has any real shot of going public, and so the speaker is just telling people what it wants or needs them to hear.

With LinkedIn reporting earlier this year that they’re cash-flow positive, though, I think an IPO seems the more likely choice, but you never know.

LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman at San Jose Mercury News

LinkedIn founder and angel investor Reid Hoffman talks with Mercury News venture capital reporter Connie Loizos about where he sees the social networking space headed, as well as his investment strategy these days.

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