Monday, September 20, 2004


Despite (or perhaps because of) my credentials as a computer science PhD, I am a certifiable Luddite. So when I read Andrew Leonard's June '04 article "You Are Who You Know,"critiquing the pitfalls of social networking software, I felt encouraged in my own personal resistance to this technology.

Now let the record show that I am making an earnest effort to use LinkedIn as part of my ongoing job search. Why the change of events? I keep hearing unsolicited recommendations from friends who found it useful. Or, as Duncan Watts would say, my personal network has finally overcome my internal threshold of resistance to adapting new behavior.

A Brief LinkedIn Primer: Most of my readers probably know this, but the idea of LinkedIn and its ilk is to automate the networking process. Once I open my personal account on LinkedIn, I can invite my friends and colleagues to join my network. The power of LinkedIn is that by storing my network and my friends' networks (and their friends, etc.) it can guide my networking. For example, LinkedIn could help me navigate the shortest path of referrals from me to Kevin Bacon, assuming he were also a member.

There are lots of social network software programs out there. Why am I focusing on LinkedIn? First, because it's the one my friends specifically mention over and over again. And second, because its professional focus matches my specific networking goals.

For now I am just getting started. I wrote a profile that identifies my areas of expertise and goals. Then I started inviting friends and colleagues one by one, until I found that LinkedIn can import my entire Outlook address folder. That was nerve-wracking -- who's getting access to my address folder? -- but I forged ahead because of LinkedIn's good reputation. From there it is a snap to invite any of my current contacts to join my network, and I can easily see who is already a member of LinkedIn and therefore more likely to want to join networks.

Next thing you know, this old dog's gonna get a cell phone.


Anonymous said...

How is it going? When people get invited, we find that some people accept right away--and some of those then invite right away because the idea appeals to them. Others accept and "hang out" for a while to make sure they are not inviting their business contacts into a system that doesn't work, where the quality of people is low or one that is too open.

Many start by sending invitations to connect to their contacts who are already on LinkedIn before inviting contacts who are not yet on LinkedIn.

Some people don't join until they have received three or five or ten invitations. Sometimes they wait until they speak in person to one of their inviters or they hear from someone they know that LinkedIn was useful to them in some way.

Generally, the more people have a need that is served by LinkedIn (recruiting employees, finding a job/client, getting a business partner, finding an expert), the more active they get. However, some just enjoy re-connecting with old colleagues and checking out who their contacts know (for those who allow them to see their contacts).

-Konstantin Guericke
Co-Founder LinkedIn

Clickbank Mall said...

Join the only TV advertised affilated program and cash in on the masses that will be joining TVcoop.netpromotion

Anonymous said...

Hi i am totally blown away with the blogs people have created its so much fun to read alot of good info and you have also one of the best blogs !! Have some time check our link of computer book.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info, I added you to my favorites.
If you are interested in best rated home based business
, I have a best rated home based business
Feel free to drop by and tell me what you think.

Skip Weisman said...

You've got a good point in your last posting. Most people would not get it, but the way you explained long term goal, it makes all the sense in the world. I should know because I post similar information about long term goal.

Josh said...

Wow - you're blog is full of good info. It's getting hard to find blogs with useful content and people talking about social networking these days. I have just started my Latest social networking news blog and would really appreciate you coming by - thanks again