My LinkedIn FAQ

By Mike Maddaloni on Thursday, October 25, 2007 at 04:00 AM with 5 comments

View Mike Maddaloni's profile on LinkedInI have about a dozen outstanding invitations for people to join my LinkedIn circle. Each time I invite someone new to join the social networking Web site, I usually get asked what it is and why they should join. Rather than re-forward that information every time, I will present it here. I also welcome your feedback and suggestions for this personal frequently asked questions, or FAQ, for LinkedIn.

What is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a Web-based application in the category of a social network. Members can create and maintain a profile as detailed or minimal as they wish, and it can be said the more detailed it is, the more it resembles a resume or CV. You can invite people to be linked into your circle, and as a result you are indirectly linked to people in their circle, similar to the concept of six-degrees of separation (or Kevin Bacon). You can search for these connections and request to contact them, post to and answer questions from the community of members, and write recommendations of members.

What is a social network, and aren’t all networks social?

All networks should be social! Here is a definition of social networking from WikiPedia, and I will leave it to you to read it and make your own conclusion.

How do you use LinkedIn?

I have a rather detailed professional profile on myself, as my LinkedIn profile returns a result high on the list for a search on my name and my business in the search engines. I have reconnected with many people over the years of using it. But primarily I use it to keep people at “arm’s length” to see where they are and what they are doing. When logged in, the home page is a great resource as it shows people in your circle who have changed their profile or added new people to their own circles.

What do you see as the strengths of LinkedIn?

Its strengths are in its home page (as mentioned above), a professional format and layout and the number of people using it.

What do you see as the drawbacks of LinkedIn?

As compared to other social networks, LinkedIn is a little stuffy. Just recently they allowed people to add an 80 pixel square photo of themselves, where photos are the hallmark of all social networks. If you want to connect with someone in someone else’s circle, the request has to be passed along from person-to-person. Why not just let people choose if they want to receive these connections directly, as I myself have always passed along a request. It is also limiting in how you can reference other non-work activities and Web links.

There is a paid version of LinkedIn, do you use it?

No. It only allows you to contact more people, and since I don’t contact many people indirectly it is not worth it to me.

How many people are in your LinkedIn circle?

As of October 23, 2007 I have 236 contacts.

I already belong to enough services and have too many logins, why should I sign up for this?

LinkedIn is currently the primary networking service for business – if you want to network for business, you should create a free account. By doing so you can claim your name, as they allow you to create a custom URL to your profile page, such as my own, http://www.linkedin.com/in/mikemaddaloni. Plus more and more people are joining LinkedIn daily.

Can I join your LinkedIn circle?

Sure, just ask!

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