Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Final Thoughts on our LinkedIn Project from Pam and Alex

From Pam: Watching the video presentation about LinkedIn in class a few weeks back I would like to share a few observations regarding my interaction with this site. One of the main goals of the site as demonstrated in the video was to connect business people with others that might be of assistance to you. In particular this might be a consultant or service provider. I think this would be a great benefit to a company but I do not see that the site is being used for this purpose very often. Perhaps this is due to the economic times we currently are experiencing as most people are asking for you to recommend them as a part of their job search, not to obtain customers for a business or service that they already provide. I have not seen any “real” business to business development occurring. With that said, most companies have a policy regarding job recommendations and who is authorized to make them. “Friends” on LinkedIn regularly ask for recommendations and I wonder if people are considering their company polices, how or where these recommendations might be used. I even had someone write an entire posting that they wanted me to do on their behalf. This was no less than 200 words. The immediate problem for me was that while everything in the recommendation that he wrote might have been accurate it had nothing to do with the way I personally interacted with him. Needless to say, I pointed out that I was not the appropriate person to make a recommendation for him or at least the one that he wrote. While I could say certain things they would need to be limited to the interaction that we actually had. I have not heard from him since. I thought that the “Groups” area of the site would be helpful to me as well. And to some degree it has been. My biggest disappointment is that while I can be a part of a group and make postings, my posts always fall below the administrator of the group. This might put current information below the administrator posts. In particular if they are posting a lot. Your post is emailed to everyone in the group so if they look at it when it hits their email then they would be aware of it. However, this now seems like double duty…email and the LinkedIn Group. It feels as though you are pretty much in the group to “hear” what the administrator has to offer and very little back and forth occurs between the members. I feel this site will continue to grow and evolve but do not find it incredibly useful to me at this point. With that said, I have not dedicated enough time to find the real value in it for me and may be moved to a different opinion as time goes on.
From Alex: My LinkedIn experience was positive. I had the account for a while and did nothing with it. Because of this project I am active in LinkedIn and my resume is updated. I have used it as a social site. I found some old business contemporaries and high school chums. I am building a base of potential employment referrals through groups and have even found things that my company is doing on LinkedIn. While I have participated in a few group discussions I have not initiated a discussion so I haven’t encountered the problem that Pam did. I was reluctant to ask for a recommendation but someone who I know sent an unsolicited recommendation to me. Of course I reciprocated because I have recommended Michael in the past, even before LinkedIn. My biggest mistake was accepting someone who I probably should not have added to my group. While his resume is exceptional and he has a long list of contacts, this person has a reputation for being a jerk. I am not sure that I want him as part of my group. I still spend an hour or two a week on LinkedIn. I intend to spend another few hours one day soon refining my resume, putting more into groups and making contacts. I have a contact from Florida who is a therapist/motivational speaker and I have a contact here in COS who does business seminars. I plan on getting them together to see if they can do business together, with an expectation that if they do, I’ll get a commission for setting them up. Even if I never make a buck, this was a fun experience!

1 comment:

  1. I have heard from a local marketing executive that LinkedIn is a great way to get good buzz and word-of-mouth going for his clients. I liked what you said, Alex, about using the groups and I think that some can actually use that for trading services, etc. I think the networking possibilities here are endless so I plan on trying it!