What is LinkedIn, anyway? should I join it?

It looks like a stripped down Facebook for [del]professionals[/del] working stiffs, but since you can’t see detailed profiles unless you join it, I’m not sure if it’s worth it.

Any thoughts?

It’s mainly for networking, IMO. I use it to keep track of friends and former co-workers which gives me a great deal of help getting interviews at companies where I know someone, references, and recommendations. For me it’s strictly a business networking tool and doesn’t really relate to what Facebook does. It was extremely helpful to me in my last job search.

I haven’t needed it yet for a job search, but I send and accept invitations on it frequently. The company I work for lays people off every couple of years, so I have been building a network of people in my field who have jobs elsewhere for the same reasons Telemark mentioned. I have responded to quite a few requests for recommendations from former co-workers, too.

Yup, all about networking. My contact list is a mix of people from my current job, people from former jobs, people from the Dope, friends, and friends of friends, in pretty much decreasing order of frequency (unlike Facebook, where the scale runs in roughly the other direction).

Since my current job is writing for a newspaper, “people from my current job” includes coworkers plus people I’ve interviewed, PR people, etc. I have more than once used LinkedIn when "I need someone to answer a quick question about X.

Haven’t used it as a job search tool yet (knock on wood).

I’m a lawyer for the government, and I’ve declined invitations to join, because I worry about the possible appearance of conflict if I’m linked to certain lawyers who have matters before my agency.

However, as far as I know, my agency has no policy in this regard, and these people are generally personal friends anyway, so maybe I’m overreacting.

Didn’t we literally have this same thread yesterday? In which I described LinkedIn as a self-updating rolodex? Did I hallucinate that???

I use it for work contacts and Facebook for social contacts. I try not to let the two cross-over for the most part. As a consultant, it’s a great way to maintain tabs on what my clients are up to and where they’ve moved.

it’s for proving that a certain small subset of American professionals nowadays are only interested in spamming group discussions while a big (overwhelmingly big) subset of group admins don’t give a damn. If you thought that unrestricted competition (e.g. between groups) is enough to overcome evil and establish the good, come to LinkedIn and find out otherwise. Maybe somebody ought to draw an allegorical The Triumph of Spam based on the LinkedIn experience.

OTOH maybe it is also for proving that only the spammers have any interest in posting stuff online in the first place. If nobody wants to discuss legitimate topics, who but the spammers will remain. If that’s the case, it should tell us something about American professionals in this day and age as well.

Yes we just did, yes you just did, and yes you are correct.

LinkedIn doesn’t have all the games, posts, picture, “Likes” and adds that Facebook has. You don’t have a “wall” on which to post your thoughts about world peace and cute kittens.

As for should you join? I did, because it is used a lot by my industry, and people move around a lot, so when it comes time to job hunt, I will have a listing of who I have worked with and where they now are.

I didn’t see that thread before starting this one.

Actually, plenty of people use the Updates section to talk about dumb stuff, like the NBA draft, or their vacation plans. But most people I know keep it professional. Like lots of other people, I need to keep contacts as other people and myself change jobs.

Like code_grey: said, people are spamming their favorite groups with invites. LinkedIn actually has a stupid function, scanning your email address book for people who could be LinkedIn contacts, but people don’t have to use that function.

“He’s on LinkedIn. He might as well be dead!”
-Jack Donaghy

And why is this a stupid function exactly?

One feature I think is underrated by many folks is the ability to find links between you and another person.

For example, if I were looking for a job in the pharmaceutical industry, it wouldn’t be surprising if the hiring manager knows somebody I know. LinkedIn would tell them this.
They could then call up their colleague and ask the person about me, and hopefully the person would gush forth great praises.

Because of this, I do take care to link to people who can vouch for me on a professional level.

Mostly because I’d never use it. :smiley: No seriously, I like to be a little bit more selective with my invites: Instead of the “Please join my LinkedIn network” boilerplate provided, and blasting it out to every email address, I like to select a person and say"Hello Remember me, we worked at … and I worked with your personally on Project XYZ. Won’t you reconnect with me via LinkedIn?" The auto function seems like personalized, well intentioned, email spam.

Recently, I decided I was sick and tired of seeing the Updates function on my Yahoo mail account, so I tried to change the settings to make it not appear. I accidentally selected the “send an update request to all” function, and managed to select “OK” Dummy. :stuck_out_tongue: But at least I was able to recall the request. Funny, I’m often spammed by a couplea people who’ve let their email accounts get spoofed. I’m usually more smug about this, but hey, I just did it myself.

I used to use it and still have an account but whenever I try and access it, it rejects my email address and my password. I’m effectively locked out and don’t see any way to contact their support. For the last year all the requests to accept invitations (probably 50) I’ve had to leave unanswered.

Other than that, yes, it’s a great way to stay in touch with industry professionals even as they move to other jobs, thus rendering their old company email address moot.

Plus, I’ve had numerous high school and college friends re-establish contact, some from 30 years back that I might never have found otherwise.

You’re wrong in your assumptions about how it works. It does go through your entire e-mail and creates a list of everyone that it matches in your e-mail (not just the address book) and within LinkedIn itself. But it doesn’t automate a message from there. You are free to scan the list, checking off or on anyone you want to invite, before you send off a listing. As someone who has enormous numbers of people in various e-mail applications (but not necessarily in the address book itself), it’s a great help, and you can customize messages if you want so as not to give the impression of random spamming.

ArchiveGuy: Yep. But people don’t do that. They do, in fact, just hit OK, just like I did. I’m thinking that’s part of what code_grey: is talking about. I don’t recall getting emailed FaceBook or MySpace invites, and I wouldn’t respond if I did. Yet somehow, people seem to think it’s acceptable to do that with LinkedIn.