Wednesday, June 18, 2008


At the end of 2006 one of my co-workers told me about Linkedin. At first I was not sure how interested I was in a Web 2.0 community. After thinking about it I decided to give it a try. I was immediately hooked. In fact this week I hit 700 connections.

Linkedin is an online professional networking tool. I have heard it described as Facebook or MySpace for business workers. Your profile is your resume or CV. You invite people to join your network and you can accept invites from others. The writing of recommendations for your connections is encouraged. Your connections are visable to the other members of your network. Updates to your connections are displayed as they happen.

Colaboration between members is through a question and answers application. Members can ask questions or provide answers that displayed to the network. As will all Web 2.o sites some members are much more active than others.

Not all of my connections are friends and former co-workers. A lot are recruiters who are probably more interested in my list of connections than in me. Some are random invites from people just joining and looking to build their list of connections. In the beginning I was not super selective about who I connected with. I figured the larger my list of connections the higher the probability I would be able to connect with former co-workers that I had lost track of. I even included my email in my profile title. After a while I decided a more directed approach worked better.

One of the more interesting aspects of Linkedin is how various member of my network are related to each other. Some relationships are obvious usually member of my network have worked together at different firms. However, some are completely surprising. One of my former co-workers was connected to one of my high school classmates. I have determined that 6 degrees of separation is a very wide network and the network of 3 degrees or less is amazing.

The environment is tightly controlled to limit the amount of spam. Members are strongly encouraged not to send invites to folks that they do not know. In fact Linkedin uses the 2 strike rule. If 2 invites respond that they do not know you then you are placed in the restricted box and will need to send an apologetic email to customer service in order to have the restriction removed.

I have heard that recruiters are starting to use Linkedin instead of job boards such as Hotjobs. I am not sure how true this is but the ability to have recommendations probably helps qualify candidates.

There have been rumors that Linkedin is going to either be sold or be IPO'd. There was an article on CNNfn that talked about a new funding infusion for Linkedin.

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