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View Poll Results: Have you found LinkedIn helpful?
Yes 23 50.00%
No 20 43.48%
Not a member 3 6.52%
Voters: 46. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 29th January 2007, 11:30 AM   #1
Logan
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Default Have you found LinkedIn helpful

I've been using LinkedIn and I'm curious to hear about other experiences. For those not familiar with LinkedIn, it is a social networking site for business which allows individuals to setup Professional Profiles. After you signup for a free account and create your professional profile, you can then make 'connections' with others. As you develop these connections, you then have a network of contacts. The site allows you to make and receive recommendations along with a new Q&A area.

A couple thoughts, while a lot of the buzz on social networking sites is with digg and delicious, this site is more about networking by maintaining current and creating new contacts. While this is good, I think the majority of the activity I see is more related to reinforcing current contacts versus getting new contacts. Is this the same experience others have, or what do you do to meet new contacts with LinkedIn?

A few things that I've noticed that can help a business promote themselves.

1) When setting up your profile you can add up to 3 links to your website(s). Most select default options provided for the link text such as "My Company", "My Website", etc. If you select the option "Other" ... you can then enter your own link text such as "Widgets, Inc".

2) Your profile is provided a default url at LinkedIn. You can change the url to customize it. Add your name or company to make your LinkedIn personalized to you. Additionally, the amount of info published is based on the options you select. By default they published a limited view of your profile. You can select to show expanded information and your links are published publically on your personal LinkedIn url. I'm still researching this, but the best I can tell so far these are search engine friendly links to your site - although doing a site search in google shows only 160 of these LinkedIn profiles incuded within google's index (which seems limited/low to me ... so still investigating this)

3) Receive recommendations from others for the services you provide and you can be listed within their services directory.

4) Explore the new Answers section. Find the category that is most specific to your business and review the questions there. Can you contribute answers to these questions and establish yourselves as an authority within their Q&A area? By answering questions you can receive more exposure by interacting with others, and the Q&A responses you provide become part of your profile which helps enhance your presence when people view it.

5) LinkedIn Groups - If you have an existing group - leverage it! This provides a way for you to integrate an existing group you have established within the LinkedIn network.

I'd love to hear from others if they have had success using LinkedIn and any tips they can share.

If you would like to setup a connection, say so here and drop those interested a PM with your email where they can send the request. I'd like to make connections with anyone here who would be interested.

Perhaps if we could get enough here connected, we could create our own group so our services could be referenced better?

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Old 29th January 2007, 12:56 PM   #2
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Logan I did sign up for an account, but I haven't really logged back in much to explore things. Thanks for the info. I had been meaning to look into LinkedIn more and this thread will serve as a reminder for me along with some helpful info to get started. I'll let you know how my experience goes once I look around the place a little more.

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Old 29th January 2007, 01:30 PM   #3
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Hi Vangogh, you might also want to check into this Yahoo Group LinkedIn Bloggers.

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Old 29th January 2007, 01:33 PM   #4
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Nice, seems right up my alley too.

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Old 29th January 2007, 05:27 PM   #5
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I did not find it much useful. I should say I am a member of it for almost 2+ years, but not have many directly links setup..

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Old 30th January 2007, 07:48 AM   #6
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Been with it since about day 4 - my profile sits somewhere around 80% - 90% completed, but to finish it would require "another degree" or educational component, so I'm done.

I see more and more folks signing up, and after every conference I attend I get a flurry of Link requests form folks i met.

I can honestly say that it's been of zero use to me thus far.

Granted, it's not like I've actually tried using it to reach out to anyone, either. I do feel good knowing I'm in there, and there's a web built with me in it. Should I desire a change in location work-wise, it might prove a useful joint.

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Old 30th January 2007, 08:57 AM   #7
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I'll have to look into it.

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Old 30th January 2007, 09:51 AM   #8
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I've had a profile for over a year and can't say I've done much with it. I'm sure it is useful to those who have the time to really use it. That's something I don't seem to have, but anybody who wants to add me can do so... though I don't even know how to tell you how!

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Old 30th January 2007, 01:40 PM   #9
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Its a bit different than some social networking sites (i.e mybloglog) in that there is a separation between contacts. LinkedIn uses the word "connection". So in your case ston3y for your profile to be connected with mine, either you or I need to send an invitation to the other. (need an email to do so though) After the invitation is sent, that person then can accept it if they like. If they accept the invitation then a connection is made between the two people. If they don't accept the invitation, it is left in an 'open' state and can either be resent, deleted or left in place as open.

If you have someones email that you want to make a connection with, when you are logged in you click the top right tab/link "My Contacts" and then select the link "Invitations".

You have connections, as described above. Then there are "second degree" connections which are connections of those people you are connected with... and third degree... so on.

There is a 'gated-access' approach, where one person connecting with another requires a pre-existing relationship or initial communication established by a mutual contact of theirs. My understanding is that is suppose to build trust in the relationships established, but at the same time my experiences is this factor also severely limits the networking that is initiated within LinkedIn. Thus, I think it just seems to reinforce existing relationships more than fostering a lot of new contacts/networking.

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Old 1st February 2007, 01:51 PM   #10
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I'm still new to LinkedIn and just learning the system. Logan how you describe it seems pretty accurate. LinkedIn seems less about building new relationships quickly as it does about maintaining and strengthening existing relationsips.

Like you say you do need to know a person's name and email address before being able to invite them to connect to you.

One of the things I do like is how you can leave recommendations for someone. Admittedly since these are people you should know failry well it's hard to imagine a negative recommendation, but I think it gives potential clients/customers a chance to see what others have to say about you.

The network building is slow through LinkedIn, but I agree that it leads to more trusted networks.

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