Posts Tagged 'LinkedIn'

Good list of 2010 predictions for social media

Oct 27 post by Jennifer Leggio (ZDNet):

2010 Predictions: Will social media reach ubiquity?

The predictions are from 31 people in Jennifer Leggio’s personal network.   It’s a great collection, and valuable to read through all of them together.   A lot focus on use of social media for marketing, PR, and enterprise collaboration (a lot of the predictors are engaged in consulting or software for those areas).

Common themes:  Social media will indeed be ubiquitous; will spread more in the enterprise; will need more privacy controls (or not); will have more location-based apps; will require more filtering.

Here are a few excerpts that especially interest me:

Caroline Dangson, IDC@carolinedangson

“IDC survey data shows more than 50% of worldwide workers are leveraging the free, public social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook for business today. IDC believes the primary reason workers are using the consumer social media platforms is because their organization is not providing these types of tools itself”

(I believe there are other very good reasons for continued use of consumer social media platforms in organizations.  E.g., it’s hard to replicate the value of a global platform with 50+ million members .)

Peter Shankman, Help A Reporter Out@skydiver

“We’ll update to let people know where we are and where we’ll be. And the best part is, we won’t have to. 2010 will be the start of the time where our devices do it for us. FourSquare will auto-update our location via GPS, which will tell Twitter, who will add the #fb tag and notify Facebook”

“we’ll start to accept the concept that hey – maybe we really DO only need one social network ,which will bring us to 2011 – the year of the consolidation.”

Brian Sibley, Sibley PR@bsibley

“Domino’s experience taught us that when it comes to social media, you can’t just switch it on, like you can a traditional marketing tool. You have to invest the time to build a strong following in order to be able to use it as an arrow in your crisis communications quiver when the time comes”

Brian Solis, FutureWorks@briansolis

“2010 will be the year that we save us from ourselves in social  media…we will stop drinking from the proverbial fire hose and we will lean on filtering and curation to productively guide our experiences and  production and consumption behavior and interaction within each network.”

I’m looking forward to reading 2010 predictions from others.  Thoughts?

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How to Use Social Search to Find an Angel

Here is a meaning for “Social Search” that is a bit different from the applications that Google, Bing, Facebook and others are racing to perfect.  This one is already available and can be really valuable to entrepreneurs and other professionals.

I have a new friend (who found me on LinkedIn) who is self-funding development of a very interesting new product and Web service.  (A prototype of the product is cellalert.org – but an advanced version is now in development.)  The existing product has received finalist recognition in netsquared and other mobile challenges.  He and his partner (in different cities) are both working full-time in senior level high-tech jobs.   He has received some small funding amounts but will need more in a few months to keep going.   He needs an angel, but not sure how to find one.

My suggestion is to use LinkedIn; and I’ll give some examples below that can help him and maybe others.

From my own experience with social networking platforms, LinkedIn is way better than any other platform for this kind of thing, where a trusted introduction really helps, e.g., for finding partners, investors, donors, advisers, employees, friendly press contacts, etc.   But I would love to hear if others have had good results with other platforms.

OK, how to find an angel: Continue reading ‘How to Use Social Search to Find an Angel’

Social Search – What will float to the top?

Social search is on big companies’ minds:
Google’s New Social Search Is A Big Chess Move Against Facebook (ReadWriteWeb, 10/21)

So, Bing has Facebook and Twitter, and Google only has Twitter.

Where is LinkedIn in this conversation?  LinkedIn’s news sharing is worth looking at.  With a few changes it’s potential would be actually greater than either Twitter or Facebook updates.

Why is Twitter so useful?   Because I can choose whom to follow, and others can choose whether to follow me.  But Twitter has big limitations.   Even by creating a selected group of the people I’m following I still have to wade through a lot of non-relevant stuff, and I *mostly* miss a lot of stuff that disappears below the horizon surprisingly quickly – because I look at Twitter at most 2 or 3 times a day, and often go days without looking.   Also, 140 characters is very neat.   But not always appropriate.  It doesn’t really tell me enough in order to decide accurately whether to click through on the links.   And they don’t contain enough info to store and search.

I like LinkedIn News because I can quickly grab content from the Web and share it.  If I want to share it with a particular group or group of connections, this is great.  But something really crucial is missing.

I don’t always want to *push* news and ideas I find interesting to a particular group or set of connections.  And I definitely don’t want to spam all my connections.   I *do* want to be able to collect news and ideas and keep the items in a single place.  And I *do* want to be able to follow/subscribe to collected news and ideas from a selected group of connections and non-connnections.  And I want to also be able to go to a single person’s profile and see what news and ideas that person has collected, or to search my connections for news and ideas that match specific tags.

Those changes would make LinkedIn News much more powerful than either Facebook or Twitter updates – precisely because LinkedIn is much more focused on professional value rather than also flooded with personal messages, photos, etc.  Plus, LinkedIn profiles tell me much more than Twitter bios, and after all, I already have a lot of important connections on LinkedIn.  So LinkedIn’s search capabilities could allow me to find people who share my interests *and* who have impressive profiles and recommendations *and* who are sharing news and ideas from the Web.  This would be doing what LinkedIn does best.

What do Meta Networks Need?

(Continued from Basic Case for Meta Networks and Global Transformation)

Meta Networks are:

  • Decentralized networks of people, organizations and networks,
  • Bound together by shared goals, values, and experiences.

Meta networks are crucial for fixing global problems before they overwhelm us.

Meta networks need passionate, committed, and talented people, plus ideas, funding, and other resources.   But they also need methods and tools to make the individuals, organizations, and network as a whole more intelligent and effective.

Here are four types of methods and tools that meta networks need:

1.  Connecting people and organizations.

a.  Connecting people to people and organizations to obtain:

– Ideas, expertise and help (employees, partners, consultants, advisors, volunteers)

– Funding (investors, grants, donors)

– Inside Intelligence & Influence (related to potential customers, partners, investors, employees, and suppliers, and agencies, policy makers, communities, etc.)

Examples of tools:
Job, volunteer and consultant matching sites and databases; professional social network platforms for finding needed expertise and affiliations and obtaining trusted recommendations and referrals (e.g., LinkedIn).

Examples of methods:
Network weaving and social network analysis.

b. Connecting people to content
(to obtain news, ideas, opinions, research, experiences, knowledge)

Examples – Generic and specialized Internet search engines, content management and knowledge sharing applications and portals.

2. Sources for Reputation, Fact-checking, Due-Diligence.
(Supports other needs, e.g., connecting people, decision-making, etc.)

Examples:  Generic Internet search engines; professional social network platforms for checking professional experience and getting personally trusted insights and recommendations; reputation sites (most are not very mature yet).

3. Messaging campaigns to spread awareness and actions
(e.g., awareness and actions related to voting, contacting policy makers, talking to neighbors, donating, buying or boycotting)

Examples:  Social media sites and tools (Facebook, Twitter, messaging tools, etc.)

4. Collective Thinking and Action (big category!)

a)  Removing barriers to communication and collaboration.
(Dialogue, listening, finding common ground, consensus-building, conflict transformation, use of stories, symbols and rituals, collective consciousness effects)

b) Identifying, understanding and solving problems
(Collecting facts and perspectives from all relevant sources; Innovating (exploring/scanning/brainstorming); Integrating perspectives to reach consensus/decision on best strategies and tactics; Prediction; Deliberation and planning (evaluating ideas from different perspectives, consensus building); and Getting commitments for action.)

c) Collaborative Action – requiring complex coordination of actions by many people and organizations.

Examples of a, b, & c:   Online and in-person methods and tools for dialogue, deliberation, and collaboration.   For a partial list see NCDD’s Framework for Dialogue and Deliberation.

What is left out of this list?  Or what would you change?

How LinkedIn Scaled

On Friday I’ll be attending an all-day workshop on “How Ideas Scale” hosted by Plexus Institute.   In thinking about that, I also began thinking about how LinkedIn scaled.  (I worked at LinkedIn in its first few years.)

LinkedIn now has 35,000,000+ registered users and continues to grow rapidly.   This is a big number, but not as big as Facebook or MySpace.   And yet because LinkedIn has focused from the beginning on providing value to professionals, the comparison with more social sites like Facebook isn’t so valid.  Getting 35 million busy professionals to participate is a big achievement.

LinkedIn began in early May of 2003.    At that time there were other professionally-focused social network sites that had a head start and were much better funded.  None of those companies are now anywhere near as successful as LinkedIn.

Here’s my take on how LinkedIn scaled:

  • Brought together a team of executives who had all worked with the principal founder, (and largely with each other) in previous Internet startups.
  • Kept the site simple and focused; didn’t overbuild, stuck to the knitting.
  • Gained its initial 5000 members almost immediately from the personal connections of the founders’ own personal connections.
  • A huge percentage of the first year’s members were influential social network early adopters who were primed to use the site for professional purposes.
  • From the first day there was an in-place data analytics strategy that enabled the company to measure effects and fine-tune the site design.
  • Stayed focused on its goals of growth, revenue, and usage as measures of value to users, as well as to shareholders.

Making the Value Proposition Viral … uh, Organic

Greg Berry just posted a useful list called “Five Rules for Social Networks.”  It contains useful ideas such as making sure that there’s a clear value proposition for users to connect with others and getting others to connect with them.

In some social networks, the “gift” is “we get to be more closely connected”.  This is appealing especially to millennials who like maximum, always-together connectivity with their friends.

For older folks and “serious” professionals, the gift is sometimes harder to convey.  You invite your friend.  Your friend signs up but doesn’t have a clue what to do, or more important, why to care.

LinkedIn, which serves the older group, has a very clear value proposition for professionals, but still the value proposition often doesn’t come across in the invitation or initial visit to the site.  To finally try to fix this LinkedIn has recently announced a new “Learning Center” where new, and old, users can go to understand better what exactly they can do, and why.  One of the best resources on the learning center are two new very short but very clear videos on how and why professionals can use LinkedIn.  It’s very easy to send these to people you know.

The overview video is in two parts, but you can see them both together in this LinkedIn blog post.   Or use these two YouTube links:

Part I http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pXWrHN0elg

Part II http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1ofuNt6Abk

BTW, I still like “viral” because it really means “contagious”.  If something good is contagious, that’s good.  Otherwise, bad.

Facebook, LinkedIn, and usefulness in Organizations

Prediction by Charles Armstrong of Trampoline Systems (from January – I just found it thanks to a friend): In 2008 “Many companies will commission pilots of “Facebook for the enterprise”. Most will fail to deliver any value.” He gives two reasons: 1) Consumer networking techniques don’t work for the enterprise, 2) “the pilots will too often be set up without connection to a pressing business problem. This means there will be little urgency around the use of the new tools and little benefit to employees from adopting them.”

I agree. But I would bet that many, including Trampoline Systems, are working on integrations between private enterprise apps and the more “public” consumer platforms. The two types of platforms need each other in order to reach their full potential.

Facebook and LinkedIn are both ‘consumer’ platforms, but they each have very different strengths to contribute to applications for organizations and private networks. Facebook is great for social campaigns and “pushing power to the edges” – using the network of the organization (or cause) to spread messages and collective behavior. This is why so many NGOs are using Facebook.

LinkedIn, on the other hand, isn’t so good for social campaigns – which come across as too much like spam to LinkedIn users, partly because it doesn’t have the right tools. But LinkedIn is infinitely better for using trusted connections for traditional, high-value professional purposes – getting jobs; finding funding; finding, reference checking and landing new employees, experts and prospective partners; getting new intelligence, and gathering influence. Facebook can’t do these because it lacks a decent professional profile database, and it doesn’t have the search tools for finding people 3 degrees out. LinkedIn can almost be used as-is by organizations – if only they knew how and why. Trampoline Systems can obviously add features that can make LinkedIn’s global network a lot more useful, without giving up control over private data.


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