I am trying out a new professional networking site called LinkedIn. What is it? From the ‘About’ page:
LinkedIn is an online network of more than 11 million experienced professionals from around the world, representing 150 industries. Through your network you can:
- Find potential clients, service providers, subject experts, and partners who come recommended
- Be found for business opportunities
- Search for great jobs
- Discover inside connections that can help you land jobs and close deals
- Post and distribute job listings
- Find high-quality passive candidates
- Get introduced to other professionals through the people you know
The basic service is free, but it’s missing some very key elements necessary to using the service. The minimum functional service is $20/mo.
In a half hour of searching, I found dozens of people I know at my company and partner companies. If I connect to 20 professionals – and they each have 20 networking contacts – then that’s 400 potential professional introductions right there for projects, business opportunities, jobs, mentoring, and more. At least that’s the concept.
Some of the big names in business, like Guy Kawasaki, highly endorse LinkedIn and have written posts about how to get the most from the network. Conversely, others like blogger guru Robert Scoble hate it.
I’ve signed up, created a profile, and started connecting to people. It’ll be interesting to see whether this is helpful to my professional life or ends up being just a time drain.