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LinkedIn is the best social media tool for business – or politics

6 comments

I know that some of the in-crowd have abandoned LinkedIn for Twitter, Facebook and the new, new thing but LinkedIn remains the best way I know to connect with smart people across the world. There are a few people amongst the 50,000,000 registered white collar workers (out of a total estimated universe of 320,000,000), who abuse it but not in the way that other networks get spammed and filled with questionable content.

Reid Hoffman LinkedIn Founder & CEO

Reid Hoffman LinkedIn Founder & CEO

It struck me how valuable it was when I saw a question from Ed Vaizey Shadow Minister of Culture and Creative Industries about the best way for an incoming government to tackle the issue of online piracy. Who could he possibly be referring to…?

Within a few days he has had over 80 responses that are incredibly thoughtful (mainly), from some of the smartest people in the industry. The nice thing about LinkedIn -beyond the quality of the responses – is that you can see all of the answers easily, something that just wouldn’t be possible with Twitter or Faceboook.

Shameless plug – the founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, is one of the entrepreneurs visiting the UK as part of the Silicon Valley comes to Cambridge programme in November. If you are the CEO of a web or cleantech company and would like to attend a free private CEO workshop on 21st November, apply now. Entry deadline is November 7th. Here for more information.

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6 Responses to “LinkedIn is the best social media tool for business – or politics”

  1. Peter C says:

    The first answer is so retarded though:

    > Jail time for offenders…

  2. Richard Furman says:

    Labour communicates through meaningless soundbites so it is little surprise that it prefers Twitter.

    Conservatives, now that they have realised the Internet exists, are using it to gather vast swathes of information that they will probably do nothing with once they have had their secretaries print it off.

    The BNP believes that we should disconnect the Internet from the UK as 17,000 years ago the Internet didn’t exist and we were a lot happier and a lot whiter then.

  3. Sean says:

    Mark, I’m not sure its either / or – both have things they are good at. LinkedIn is great for CVs & networking. I’m always annoyed now when meeting someone new if they don’t have a LinkedIn profile so I can do some basic pre-call/meeting homework. And it also says something implicitly about them (which is rarely good in the contexts I operate in…)

    Haven’t used the questions much maybe I should try more often, but sadly have found the groups largely taken over by spam merchants, which is sad because they have the potential to be quite effective communities but for any that grow much beyond a small core, my experience so far has been that they are full of garbage and spam…would be great if they could fix this although I’ll admit I don’t have any clever ideas to offer on this front.

  4. Paul Walsh says:

    For me it isn’t LinkedIn versus Facebook/Twitter either. Twitter sits very harmoniously alongside LinkedIn and sometimes a tweet is appropriate, sometimes a status update. I have a Facebook account but it is social rather than business/work contacts. I’ve seen security and phishing incidents happen to contacts on Facebook that scare me off it for business.

    I also have (=had, but it’s like hotel california) accounts on Plaxo and Xing. It’s interesting how LinkedIn is still growing but the others are flatlining – http://siteanalytics.compete.com/Plaxo.com+Xing.com+LinkedIn.com/

    But my ‘issue du jour’ is the number of social networking platforms I am having to maintain. Quick survey of my links showed me that I am in five groups each on Ning and Meetup.com, two Google groups and around seventeen LinkedIn groups. The Google and LinkedIn groups are ok, because it’s one sign-in and then you choose to read or not depending on time. But each of the ten groups on Ning and Meetup are separate identities and communities, despite the fact they have a common platform.

    Add to that the fact that these companies have their own commercial agenda and strategy and it can get more fraught. “Announcing the Ning Gift Store!” – wtf is that, leave me alone!!!

    I’m not sure what’s the answer to the platform proliferation problem.

  5. Paul Walsh says:

    For me it isn’t LinkedIn versus Facebook/Twitter either. Twitter sits very harmoniously alongside LinkedIn and sometimes a tweet is appropriate, sometimes a status update. I have a Facebook account but it is social rather than business/work contacts. I’ve seen security and phishing incidents happen to contacts on Facebook that scare me off it for business.

    I also have (=had, but it’s like hotel california) accounts on Plaxo and Xing. Interesting how LinkedIn is still growing but the others are flatlining.

    But my ‘issue du jour’ is the number of social networking platforms I am having to maintain. Quick survey of my links showed me that I am in five groups each on Ning and Meetup.com, two Google groups and around seventeen LinkedIn groups. The Google and LinkedIn groups are ok, because it’s one sign-in and then you choose to read or not depending on time. But each of the ten groups on Ning and Meetup are separate identities and communities, despite the fact they have a common platform.

    Add to that the fact these companies have their own commercial agenda and it can get more fraught. “Announcing the Ning Gift Store!” – wtf is that, leave me alone!!!

    I’m not sure what’s the answer to the platform proliferation problem.

  6. I love Twitter too and there is a lot of value in it for me. There is one major difference between the two from point of business value. LinkedIn allows me to stretch beyond my immediate network in a way that is very hard with Twitter unless you tweet something that is then extensively retweeted.

    I also find that most of the groups that are set up in almost any forum get unmanageable very quickly. LinkedIn is no exception here. I think Group owners are often driven to increase the size of the group as rapidly as possible at the expense of maintaining quality people as this means that the groups become more visible to others. This has the effect of making groups attractive to people that like joining groups and less attractive to people that add real value.

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