I joined LinkedIn a few months ago at the invitation of a colleague. My first thought was, “Can I really manage another social networking site?” But I have been pleasantly surprised by LinkedIn. It seems to be geared to those looking for a job or making business contacts.
I’ve connected with a few librarians who I have never met (not in person anyway) like A-list blogging librarian Sarah Houghton-Jan. I’ve even been contacted by a few friends of friends who are applying for jobs at PLCMC.
Once you set up your profile and make some connections, it’s interesting to see how close we are all connected. Remember the six degrees of separation? LinkedIn works a little like that.
For instance Sarah is listed as a 1st level connection for me. I can browse her connections and see that she is connected to Stephen Abram. So now Abram is listed as a 2nd level connection for me through Sarah.
My favorite part of LinkedIn is the Q&A. You can throw a question out there about anything and get some really good responses from people all around the world in all different professions. Answers are ranked by the person who asked the question. Each question has a “best answer” selected.
I have selected the areas that interest me and subscribed to them via RSS feeds. I mostly just read the responses to questions that interest me, but occasionally a questions gets put out there that I can’t resist answering. It must be my inner-librarian! I made it a mini-goal for 2008 to have at least one answer selected as a best answer.
I was surprised to log in yesterday and see that I scored two best answers this week! One in the area of Occupational Training and one in the area of Professional Networking…and the year is only 1/12th of the way over!
So my question to you is, do you use LinkedIn and how do you use it?