LinkedIn: What value does it offer?

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. So I’m a LinkedIn member and have been for about two years since a buddy told me about it. I have lots of contacts on LinkedIn including former friends, college friends, co-workers, managers and the like. I’m very excited about the concept: to stay in contact with people after you move away from an area or a job.However, I don’t understand what LinkedIn is about. What value does it represent to the average working person? Social networks such as facebook or myspace give you away to interact and converse with your contacts, but linkedin doesn’t. I can’t easily email my contacts or share photos or anything.

The only person or group of people I can tell would benefit from LinkedIn are professional recruiters. Actually now that I think of it job hunters could use Linkedin to apply for positions. But if I’m not job hunting – what is LinkedIn all about?

I’m writing this post not to criticize, but to hopefully have someone educate me on what LinkedIn represents. Please leave a comment below.

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  • Damian Novak

    You are completely right. I already have contacts to my friends and associates. However, I did establish a few interesting contacts when I put up a way for people to contact me.

    Damian Novak

  • You should check out our social networking topic category. We talk about how and when you should use LinkedIn in simple terms there.

  • Well, my apologies for not answering you sooner, Jason. Since I’ve already written it up in WAY more detail than makes sense to post in comments, I hope you’ll find these two links helpful in answering your question:

    Why Use LinkedIn?

    80+ Smart Ways to Use LinkedIn

    Drop me a line or leave a blog comment if I can answer any questions for you about LinkedIn.

  • jason

    Hey Scott…I see now that LinkedIn profiles now show email addresses. Is this a new feature (since March when I first wrote this entry)?

  • LinkedIn doesn’t display email addresses in general. For the people you’re directly connected to, you can download their VCF or there’s a link on their profile to send them a message.

    There are some people who put their email addresses in their name field, but that’s actually a violation of the user agreement and LinkedIn is starting to crack down on that. Kind of silly, because a couple of simple RegEx tests would eliminate the problem.

  • pwb

    It’s extremely valuable for sales and BD as well (I thought that was obvious).

  • Devin

    You probably don’t know what linkedin is for. It’s a professional network connect to build up your career. It’s not one of those social networking where you can share photos and leave useless messages.

  • jason

    Did you read the post? I realize that LinkedIn is for networking. The original premise of what LinkedIn was to keep in contact with ex-coworkers that you lose contact with. Now it’s turned into a recruiters dream.

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