LinkedIn: What’s the point?

February 27, 2008

I have to be honest, I’ve had a hard time understanding the point of LinkedIn, the professional social-networking site. I think I came across the site for the first time several years ago as a reporter working on a story about social-networking sites for “grown-ups,” (i.e., those with actual jobs). I signed up, dutifully entering my work experience (1 year as a reporter, 5 years “deli associate”) and…. let it sit for several years. I didn’t know what to do with it…

Occasionally since then I’ve been brought back to it by requests from my “early adopter” friends, then co-workers. However, recently as news articles cropped up about the service and more people I work with have joined it and discussed it, I’ve been rethinking my knee-jerk opinion. Maybe there is some value. The pivotal change of heart probably came recently when a good friend called to tell me he was called by a recruiter looking to fill a job and he had been found through another friend on LinkedIn. Wow, that’s like networking without the “working!”

So, what else is LinkedIn good for–you tell me!


2 Responses to “LinkedIn: What’s the point?”

  1. gracedobush Says:

    I like to think of LinkedIn as MySpace with a reference check. My company’s been pushing social networking a lot, but I’m hesitant to add my CEO as a friend on Facebook. (I know I can change the privacy settings for individual, but it seems really strange to let my bosses anywhere near my college party photos or my uncensored wall.)

    But I’m totally into adding them on LinkedIn. I think it makes it a lot easier to disconnect your personal life from your work persona.

  2. jcarracher Says:

    Good point, Grace. I remember when some of my more senor co-workers started sending me friend requests on Facebook. At first I was hesitant, but then I realized I don’t really have anything too crazy on my profile, so I allow it. But this is an interesting issue that’s going to continue to grow.

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