May 26, 2008

LinkedIn or Not?

UPDATE: I reached my 1,500th connection earlier this weekend. I have 3rd degree of separation with over 6,870,900 professionals around the world via the LinkedIn Network!

I must have been invited to join LinkedIn Network a gazillion times over the past few years. I never joined it ... just as I don't have an account on MySpace or YouTube. However, a few weeks ago I saw that a brother that I truly respect was on the LinkedIn Network ... so I finally took a moment to join it. Click here to see my LinkedIn Network profile.

I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the professionalism and grown-folks nature of the service. It is not a gossip place. It appears to be a place for serious networking. I've used it to re-connect with some of my buddies from my undergraduate days at UC Riverside. I also used it to get an answer to a question about migrating from my Outlook calendar to the Google calendar. I received six legit answers to that question within about three hours.

I'm still trying to learn how to best use the system. I would be very interested in any ideas or thoughts that you might have on the LinkedIn Network. A colleague pointed out that there was an excellent story on the founder of the network in CNNMoney.com recently.

I will probably try to use the network to promote projects or programs that I'm involved in. Currently, I'm using the complimentary ('free') parts of the network. There are regular reminders that I can upgrade my account on LinkedIn Network. Since there are few advertisements or pop-ups or banner ads ... I imagine that upgrades from subscribers to the network is a big part of the business model. I haven't seen a reason to upgrade yet. If you can share your thoughts on upgrading ... that would be appreciated.

Addendum: My LinkedIn Profile is http://www.linkedin.com/in/waynehicks

Here is update on my network connections over the course of time:
  • 5/26/2008 - 1,500 connections (created groups for BDPA, CBI & The AfroSpear)
  • 3/23/2008 - 1,400 connections (added many AfroSpear bloggers in past month)
  • 2/14/2008 - 1,300 connections (connecting with BDPA program meeting speakers)
  • 12/17/2007 - 1,200 connections (actively looking for BDPA, BETF and CBI contacts)
  • 6/24/2007 - 900 connections (still rolling in from my personal Outlook contact list)
  • 6/19/2007 - 800 connections (invited many in my personal Outlook contact list)
  • 3/12/2007 - 600 connections (worked http://www.mybloglog.com/ hard in past week)
  • 3/4/2007 - 500 connections (joined LinkedInAfricanAmericans YG)
  • 2/20/2007 -400 connections (joined My LinkedIn Power Forum, MLPF)
  • 2/14/2007 - 300 connections (many of them from around the globe)
  • 2/13/2007 - 200 connections (most are my personal contacts in IT industry)
  • 1/28/2007 - 1 connection (joined connection today)

Are you LinkedIn yet? If so, would you care to share any tips or famous folks in your network?

22 comments:

Fredric said...

i've been using it for a few months as well. i haven't used it for networking opportunities just yet, but i'm still new to the game. :-)

my profile is at here.

Rosemarie said...

Networking can be very beneficial. It seems you have a good handle on it already. All the best in this newest connection.

Villager said...

Frederic & Rosemarie - I'm a business owner ... network is the lifeblood of my income in many respects. LinkedIn is a online networking tool that I haven't mastered yet ... but, I'm trying to figure out how best to use it.

peace, Villager

Rethabile said...

I visited your profile, and wanted to invite you to link up. Is there an email address I can use? Mine is on my blog.

Corey said...

I’m an avid LinkedIn user. It has been great for keeping in touch with old friends and generating new business.

You are more than welcome to visit my profile and send me an invitation if you wish to connect:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/corey

Villager said...

Retahabile & Corey - my email address is wayne@elecvillage.com

peace, Villager

Woozie said...

Well I just now got Facebookkk, so it'll be a few years before I get LinkedIn.

plez... said...

villager,
i'm LinkedIn with you: plezWorld.

i haven't figured out how to send messages or use this thing effectively as a networking tool. i don't want to SPAM folk with unnecessary e-mail. how do you use it?!?

Villager said...

Plez - I don't use LinkedIn Network to send messages. I use it to find folks I want to network with for my business ... then I reach out to them by phone or email using my normal MS Outlook software. Often, my LinkedIn Profile provides me with immediate credibility from someone that I want to reach as a donor or a potential client.

Deidra said...

I have a Linked In profile only because everybody else was signing up for it lol. I didn't know you actually have to be a professional (which I am not - I'm still a college student with no career). Hopefully in a few more years my profile will be booming like yours lol.

Villager said...

Deidra - There is no requirement for being a professional. However, my observation is that it is usually professionals that are looking for jobs and recommendations and such. Most college students are hanging out in Facebook, aren't they?

Deidra said...

Yea I got a Facebook AND a myspace profile but all I found was immature people (with the exception of a few). So I tend to stay off there and focus on The Afrosphere and other blogs.

Facebook isn't bad but I want to venture off and get to know people other than the ones I met in high school (and they are not the best people to hang around in my case lol).

Villager said...

Deidra - One of the important elements of a successful life is having a positive attitude. One way to maintain a positive attitude is to be very careful about who you surround yourself with. It sounds like you have learned that lesson early in life...

As an aside, I think that I'm going to create an AfroSpear group on LinkedIn so that we can also be identified within that social networking arena as well...

MsMarvalus said...

I just joined LinkedIn at the prompting of one of my friends...so far she is my only contact, only because I haven't taken the time to do all the connecting, linking up, etc...

It always takes me some time to get these things up and going...time that is always rare and urgently needed somewhere else, it always seems (((smile)))

Villager said...

Ms. Marvalus - It does take a while to get it going. I've been using it for about a year now. My next move is to use it to get some business for my consulting firm. We recently created a LI-Group for 'The AfroSpear'. Anyhow, please feel free to link with me...

SheCodes said...

hey, I'll try it. I'll look for you on there.

msladydeborah said...

Reading this just reminded me that I need to do some connecting on Linkedin.

Michael Davis-Dallas Progress said...

I'm in. I just joined this evening, per your recommendation.

Mike D.

Villager said...

SheCodes, Mike and Lady D - I have found this network to be useful in providing 'credibility' for me when I'm reaching out to potential clients. I hope you find it equally supportive of your professional aspirations...

Eb the Celeb said...

yeah i have been on linkedin for a while now... great way to networked.. and get referrals from people you know and trust...

remember...the majority of dream jobs dont come from what you have on paper but who you know... especially at a day in age where HR execs are hounded with millions of resumes for one position... its easy for yours... even when qualified to get lost in the shuffle.

Villager said...

Eb - Great testimonial about benefit of LinkedIn Network. I agree with you wholeheartedly...

Martin Lindsey. said...

Deidra, you definely don't have to be a professional. I'm in grad school and there are lots of students with Linkedin accounts.

Go ahead and open an account so the more mature crowd can begin to see your profile thru other people's connections and maybe some of your early oppotunities for co-ops, internships and the first real career will come of it. Put your resume on there too so they have something substantive to look at.

It's all about getting exposure before you actually need the benefit of the exposure.

Hey Wayne, can you approve me for the AfroSpear Linkedin group?

Thanks........Martin