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Summary:

Many of us web workers participate in more than one social network, and it’s well-known that beyond the simple social connections you can make, social networks can also be career safety nets. This was the subject of a New York Times piece from yesterday. In it, […]

Many of us web workers participate in more than one social network, and it’s well-known that beyond the simple social connections you can make, social networks can also be career safety nets. This was the subject of a New York Times piece from yesterday. In it, a Jupiter Research analyst asserts that LinkedIn, “though it lacks the glamour of more popular sites like MySpace and Facebook, is the place to be.” The article offers up a few interesting statistics.

“LinkedIn has more than 25 million members, and it is adding new ones at the rate of 1.2 million a month — or about one new networker every two seconds,” the article reports. It also reports that the average user of LinkedIn is a 41-year-old white-collar professional with an income of $109,000 a year. Is LinkedIn where the grownups are on social networks?

The New York Times piece cites several examples of people who have had great success in wing-walking from one job to the next using LinkedIn. In one example, a 32-year old employee found out his division was going to be eliminated in 45 days. Reportedly, within hours of updating his profile on LinkedIn, the employee got four job interviews resulting in two offers.

There are also some interesting observations from the folks at LinkedIn. They advise not to be too promiscuous in expanding a LinkedIn network, because “too many people can weaken your network.” There is also the advice to keep listed recommendations from people you have previously worked with up-to-date. And, there is the advice to promptly give recommendations to people who ask you for them.

LinkedIn gets talked about much less than the other social networks these days, but it is one of the oldest networks. What have your experiences been with it? Is LinkedIn still vital?

  1. LinkedIn is still the most relevant social network for me for business contacts.

    For less formal contacts, Facebook is fine. I would hesitate to make it the primary business network because of all the potential for public views of er…colorful comments and pictures by friends.

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  2. I definitely still think that Biznik is the strongest of the business-oriented social networks out there.

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  3. I like LinkedIn as it is a no-crap social network. You dont need to wade through tons of irrelevant bs to get to what you want.

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  4. LinkedIn certainly is for me the most useful. Because it is so dedicated to one type of contact, primarily business and hr, it is very useful. Other social networks are more truly socail with lots of games fun pictures etc. That’s nice, but as Christian says:

    “You dont need to wade through tons of irrelevant bs to get to what you want.”

    Personally, Facebook et al remind of those old Geocities and homepages where people mentioned they have a cat. Nice for family and friends, completely irrelevant for the rest of the world. LinkedIn forces users to be relevant.

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  5. LinkedIn is really a glorified Rolodex for business users. I don’t understand why it keeps getting compared to Facebook and MySpace, and I don’t know why it keeps getting described as a social networking tool. It’s a business networking tool, and happens to have two or three social functions, but that doesn’t warrant it being classified as a social network.

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  6. @justelise
    Business is socializing with purpose. And socializing can be business. Maybe it’s not as flashy as a Facebook or MySpace (which suck from a usability standpoint) but it gets the job done. It organizes my contacts, tells them relevant information about me and lets me contact other knowledgeable experts. But of course that’s not as social as being invited to join someones gang in a maffia game.

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  7. LI has been my main contacts network since it started, and I use it every day to get answers for my job (social media) and to liaise with people who I have met, and who I haven’t met yet, but would like an intro.

    “They advise not to be too promiscuous in expanding a LinkedIn network, because ‘too many people can weaken your network.'”

    Totally disagree with that, by the way.

    Cheers,
    John Carson.

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  8. I have joined linkedin, but I really haven’t taken advantage of it’s features yet. It definitely seems like a great concept for finding new jobs, or finding networking contacts for current jobs, but I guess I don’t need too much of either one yet!

    Jake
    NoteScribe: Premier Note Taking Software

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  9. Biznik differs sharply from LinkedIn in two ways: one, it’s designed to connect small business owners, not employees. And two, Biznik’s real focus is on bringing members together face-to-face, not just online, at member-hosted events. That’s why it works so well in Seattle, where it started, because members are hosting like 70 events a month there now and that adds up to a lot of business getting passed around.

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  10. I agree with another comment about LinkedIn being a glorified Rolodex. It does have a purpose, but it is not very interactive. This article references somebody who had multiple job offers in hours, but that person was probably the 41 year old who makes $109,000 a year. They have tons of experience and have no worries in finding a job. What about the people who are 25, 27, 32? Are they going to have job offers in hours? Not likely.

    I think that is a limitation of LinkedIn and its format.

    Brian
    http://www.konnects.com

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