LinkedIn is a profile site that business people are intended to use to stay connected. I've had a free profile for quite a while, and recently updated it. In fact, LinkedIn is now a Typepad widget; you can get your own button for your blog.
Seeking recommendations: feels pushy
The site keeps reminding me that I need to ask other people for recommendations. But this just feels pushy to me. (I am a Canadian, after all, and we don't push, we line up.)
So this week I tried something new. I decided to give recommendations to a few people on my connections' list who hadn't asked for a recommendation.
Where is LinkedIn going?
I have always assumed that LinkedIn is based on the web-advertising model. But they seem to have pushed into new territory while I wasn't looking. They now have "business accounts". If I upgrade to a business account ($19.95, $50 or $200) monthly, I can contact people I don't already know through their In Mail service. This is reported by LinkedIn to be 30 times as effective as e-mail from just anybody.
I can't honestly say this has been a problem for me yet, as sales people seem to have no trouble at all finding me through the usual channels. But if that changes, it might change my mind about the network. And this definitely makes me think they have put a glass ceiling on the seniority level of people who will play ball with their application.
What are the rules of polite society?
Looking at my list recently, I also realized that I hadn't put people on my network that I know very well and see all the time, for the most part. Mostly I had put in people I might lose touch with, and didn't want to lose touch with. The people whose phone numbers are in my cell-phone speed dial are not all there. And there are a few people there now that I can't honestly say I know well. They asked to join my network, and I said yes. Now I only say yes if it's someone I actually know, not just someone I met.
But what is the polite way to clean house? Or maybe you don't clean house.
We haven't yet figured out all the norms of the brave new world of business-social networking.
Here: a LinkedIn discussion about the value of being linked in. These people like it, and make me think I'm not really giving it a chance
Here: a discussion at 37 signals about LinkedIn, which seems more negative
Here: the social networking blog tells you the key is to expand your network as fast and large as possible, whether you know people or not. Hmmm...