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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.)

If you don't use the service, I encourage you to check it out. The more complete your profile is, the more beneficial the system will be because it will find colleagues, classmates, etc.

If you have an idea for a video subject, send me an email.

Continue reading "MarketingProfs Video: A Tutorial on the Subtleties of LinkedIn" ... Read the full article

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Matt Dickman is a technology evangelist and interactive marketing strategist at digital marketing firm DigiKnow ( He helps clients use technology to reach their marketing objectives.