I was delighted to be invited to attend LinkedIn’s latest press conference (via live stream from their headquarters). No question LinkedIn is working hard to compete with other, growing social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter.
An interesting point made in the early part of the conference: LinkedIn wants to emphasize itself as a network helpful for job seekers, but not JUST for people looking for jobs. They strive to be a place for people to share insights, build relationshipsÃ‚Â and update profiles to illustrate expertise and offer information all of the time. I’ve been promoting this concept for years, and it was not surprising to know that being a go-to network for every professional is one of LinkedIn’s goals.
The three objectives they outlined:
- Be the professional profile of record to help people find and be found, ultimately eliminating the need for the “cold call.”
- Be a source of professional insights with a focus on making content relevant to readers.
- “Work where our members work,” in other words, create applications to use via smartphones and on the go in addition to on the Web.
Some of their latest – and newly announced features:
LinkedIn’s InMaps – allow you to visualize your LinkedIn social graph (the people you are connected to and how they connect to each other). You can learn where there are pockets in your networks and consider where you may want to expand your connections, and it’s all via a visual tool. (The picture above is a piece of an InMap. Try it out: http://inmaps.linkedinlabs.com/.
LinkedIn’s Signal – This has been in beta in September 2010, and today is available for everyone. Find this on your LinkedIn home page or via http://www.linkedin.com/signal. (See picture below — the link is in the bottom, right corner – Search Updates.)
See updates from your immediate or expanded network, or information shared by company or industry, location, time, University, or any combination of those search parameters. This gives you access to updates from people who are not in your network.
This search is sort of similar to searching a hashtag on Twitter, which shows you updates from everyone – not just your network – using that search term. LinkedIn aims to share “professional” updates with you via this tool, but this all depends on how your network or the network you are searching uses LinkedIn. Let’s face it, there are plenty of updates that are not exactly “professional.” I found many by searching only by city. However, in theory, this type of search should clue me in to what professionals in a given city are thinking and sharing. (Searches by industry are more focused and will likely produce useful results.)
LinkedIn Today Beta. Find this at http://www.linkedin.com/today. LinkedIn calls it, “A new product that surfaces the top headlines and stories being shared the most across multiple industries by LinkedIn’s trusted network of more than 90 million professionals.”
They explain, “LinkedIn Today gives members a customized and tailored way to consume the top trending news relevant to a particular industry and by what is being shared the most frequently by those industry’s professionals. It lets members access their professional news through three different lenses – by their connections, industry, and the broader global professional network.”
LinkedIn Today integrates with Twitter and StumbleUpon and other news sources, including Bloomberg.com, Wall Street Journal Digital Network, CNNMoney, and many more. They also integrated this into their iPhone app (version 3.6), which has special features allowing users to quickly access the news they need.
Learn more about this new feature by taking the “tour” offered right below the site’s headline. It’s easy to personalize the experience and save stories so you can track the information you want.
Be sure to take advantage of these useful tools, whether you are looking for a job, have a business, or just know you need to keep up-to-date to stay ahead of the game professionally!
Want to learn all about how you can use social networking to propel your career? My new book, Social Networking for Career Success, is available for pre–order (at a great price). I want to invite you to order now!