LinkedIn - revitalised Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Despite having used LinkedIn for a number of years and built-up a large number of connections, I confess it was not a site I regularly used other than to periodically synchronise contact details of my connections.
However, my own use of the site recently picked up as I sought to hook up with various companies and individuals in connection with an initiative I'm involved with. I was therefore pleasantly surprised and pleased with the raft of changes that have been introduced.
The "river of news" regarding who's connected with who and what they are doing is helpful, as is the groups feature, which is exposing many more potential connection opportunities than was previously the case. Whilst these mimic Facebook features, I consider them more powerful in LinkedIn than in Facebook. For instance, for me the scenario of Friend A connecting with person B had little context on Facebook and rarely prompted a conversation - whereas on LinkedIn it opens up wider possibilities and conversations e.g. Connection A is dealing with the IT Director of X, perhaps I can assist them with an introduction to the same role in Y or conversely perhaps they can introduce me to Company X. If only there was a "friend wheel" equivalent for LinkedIn!
I suspect that use of sites social network sites like Facebook have had knock-on benefits for LinkedIn in that they have raised awareness of its' usefulness. Additionally, I suspect that many people have quickly realised that they actually want to separate their business and social connections, as well as related revelations, and hence are making use of LinkedIn for professional contacts and Facebook for friends.
LinkedIn still needs to improve in many areas but I'm pleased they have finally begun the transition into being a useful business aid.