Wednesday, March 17, 2010

This blog has moved

This blog is now located at
You will be automatically redirected in 30 seconds, or you may click here.

For feed subscribers, please update your feed subscriptions to

Friday, August 29, 2008

LinkedIn Groups now have discussions

Now this is an interesting development for LinkedIn...

LinkedIn have added a new feature which means you can now have discussions within LinkedIn Groups.

To me, this is the best thing that's been added since LinkedIn Answers, as it adds the ability to create real value from like-minded business people.

Since LinkedIn opened up the ability to create your own Group the number has grown rapidly. However, previously, LinkedIn Groups were simply a way of extending your reach to people with similar interests. You could contact them directly through the group (if they allowed it) but the group itself didn't actually do anything on LinkedIn.

With the new changes you can start discussion threads (which look similar to LinkedIn Answers) and these discussions can be sent to all members as a digest email (similar to the Yahoo! Groups).

Now it'll be interesting to see how these groups evolve as members can communicate with everyone in the group.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

LinkedIn Maine

I'm shortly having a well-earned break with my family. We're flying off to visit relatives in Maine.

Anyway, I thought I'd take a look on LinkedIn to see how many people in my online network live nearby.

LinkedIn has this great feature where you can specify how far someone lives from a specific zip code (it works in the UK now, too).

So I typed in the zip code for the town I'm staying in and the search results showed 500 LinkedIn members within 50 miles!

If you use LinkedIn you'll know that 500 is the maximum it will show... so there are probably many more.

Mind you, it helps that I'm connected with the No.1 LinkedIn member in the area :-)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Ah... the tweaks explained

Fortunately, with people like Shally Steckerl about, it's possible to understand what the recent LinkedIn tweaks are all about.

Shally's recent ERE blog "Recent LinkedIn Changes – Boom or Bust?" covers the changes with regard to invitations.

Shally takes exception to the limit of 256 characters (including spaces) for your invitation. To me, I like to keep things brief to I'm less concerned about this.

The bit I find interesting is that the mechanism of inviting has changed.

Now, when you invite someone you are prompted to choose how I know the person.

If they are a Colleague, Classmate or Business Partner you don't need their email to send an invitation to connect. If you describe them as either a Friend or "Other" then you need their email address (which is the same as it always used to be)

But, you can now invite people who you don't know.

This is a major change for LinkedIn. And it also explains why another tweak that happened recently is that you can now reply to invitations you receive.

** NOTE **
When I tried testing these functions on LinkedIn following Shally's blog I could not find them. When LinkedIn introduce new features they often test them over a period of time, turning them on and off as they do so. I suspect that these new features are not fully up yet.

Or I'm just being a bit thick :-)

Technorati Tags - , ,

Friday, April 13, 2007

A few more LinkedIn tweaks

It seems to be LinkedIn's way to slip in new changes without any major announcements.

Today I find my InBox has changed so that I can now accept/decline invitations straight from the font page.

Since the introduction of LinkedIn Answers, the front page has been getting a little busy, and it's very easy to miss invitations, etc from your inbox.

When you do click through to an invitation the UI looks similar to that of Answers, which a "flag a SPAM" link.

What does this new feature add? To be honest... I'm not sure.

Technorati Tags - , ,

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Using LinkedIn as a Business Tool - Podcast

Stan Relihan, "Australia's Most Connected Recruiter" sent me a link to a podcast "Using LinkedIn As A Business Tool".

Stan is a recruiter in Sydney and has over 5000 connections and I've been connected with him for some time.

The interview with G'day World is very useful for anyone interested in using LinkedIn for Business.

Thanks for the link, Stan.

Technorati Tags - , ,

Sunday, January 07, 2007

WARNING... think before you ask a LinkedIn Question

A few days ago LinkedIn launched "Answers". The service was universally acknowledged as a great new feature, and then the SPAM questions started.

LinkedIn certainly listened and, from MLPF, I know a few had their accounts restricted.

Here's the official line - "Please don’t contribute to [LinkedIn Answers] by posting "Questions" (or answers) that are requests for invitations or ads or solicitations. People who misuse this feature will have their accounts restricted. People who have a history of misusing LinkedIn may lose their accounts."

But beyond this, there is something else to consider. When you ask a question you can automatically send the question to your contacts (up to 200, I think).

When they receive your "question" there is also a little link which they can click on to remove you as a connection.

I actually this is a very smart move from LinkedIn.

Keep spamming your connections with thinly veiled , self-promotional "questions" and guess what, you'll not have many connections left.

And remember, once a connection is broken you cannot reconnect.

Technorati Tags - , ,

Show me the money!

Has it really been nearly 3 months since I last posted here? Q4 was busy for my consulting practice and so my ramblings here have had to take a back seat (got to pay those bills you know!)

And paying the bills, or "monetizing" has become a bit of a theme in the social networking space recently.

Aside from a recent round of investment for LinkedIn and Xing's successful IPO, here's two interesting stories:

After 2 years and nearly 5000 members, Vincent Wright is shutting down MyLinkedinPowerForum on February 9, 2007. On MLPF, Vincent wrote:

Though I can still see many things more to do with MLPF, I need to focus on improving my personal prosperity. And if I attempted to carry MLPF too much further, I’d starve - and that’s not nearly as much fun as you may think! :-)

Bottom line: Realistically, this grassroots effort can no longer be done alone and it certainly can’t be done alone AND for free.

And, at this time, I’m compelled to admit that I’ve been unsuccessful in my efforts to successfully fund the group’s grassroots work.

I wish Vincent the all the best. MLPF created a great deal of value for it's members, not least in the ability to "jump-start" their online networks.

To me, it's a lesson for many Web 2.0 companies... now you've built your membership, how do you make it pay. Or, as Jerry Maguire said "show me the money"

At the same time, Ecademy, have been addressing this same issue; the "Greenstar" entry-level grade of membership has now been dropped.

This has caused a number of members to question the value of Ecademy, but, to me, it's simply Ecademy decision on how to monetize their site.

In a way I think their decision could be a good one.

They were clearly loosing the membership arms-race. With just around 100,000 members, they've been overtaken by many new "social networking" startups and are dwarfed by Xing (1m+) & LinkedIn (8.5m+).

However, Ecademy have a different agenda I think.

They have always been closely aligned with offline networking events, and their demographic is clearly one-man-band businesses, freelancers and consultants. And how many of those are there in the world?

With the tools for self-promotion that come with Ecademy membership (unlimited ads & blogging), it's still a good value proposition.

Unlike MLPF, Ecademy have found a way to "show me the money".

Technorati Tags - , , ,,