In the face of mounting competition and hype from rival networks Facebook and MySpace, LinkedIn has stayed true to its mission of creating a network for business professionals.
I've been a member of the service for years, but until recently it had not had the critical mass necessary to get traction. Over the last six months, however, I've seen a flood of people using the service to connect professionally.
As I said, LinkedIn doesn't pretend to be MySpace or Facebook. The design is clean, but a little stark, and it could use a little more personality to make it more engaging.
In this video tour, I focus on what LinkedIn does well within its network and how you can apply the same logic to your own community:
What LinkedIn does well:
- Security. Friendships are made and links shared only with permission.
- Focus. The site is professional and keeps social elements out.
- Communication. Alerts are stored in your inbox and messaging is clear and simple.
- Answers. The answers area is a great resource for anybody looking for advice from peers.
- Rewards. LinkedIn offers virtual rewards for engaging (profile completeness, etc.).
- Community. It's all about community, and LinkedIn has found great ways of showing you what's happening in your personal network as well as your extended network.
- Trust. The site is completely built on trust. You connect with trusted people and so do they. When a message/answer/job comes through the service, you know it's for real.
What LinkedIn needs to work on:
- It should offer a resume generator that compiles your data and exports it with some editing on your part.
- It would be nice to hook up more social media to profiles (blogs, photos, videos, etc.)
Matt Dickman is a technology evangelist and interactive marketing strategist at digital marketing firm DigiKnow (www.digiknow.com). He helps clients use technology to reach their marketing objectives.