Business Connections in LinkedIn

A couple of years ago, a client sent me an invitation to LinkedIn, a business connection website. To be polite, I joined, but never visited the site again, and didn’t make any further connections.

A few months ago, I looked at LinkedIn again. I can’t remember why — maybe someone else invited me to connect, or I saw it mentioned in a blog post somewhere. I searched a few names, found people who I know, and sent them invitations to connect.

I still didn’t see much value in the website, but visited about once a week, to see what people were up to, and to try to find a few more old contacts.

New Features Added

LinkedIn also has groups that you can join. Some are invitation only, and others are public. The groups were an interesting way to find other people with similar interests, such as Excel Users, but not much use beyond that.

Recently though, discussions were added to the groups, so people can post a comment or question, and other members of the group can respond. Finally, there’s some value in belonging to the groups, if members are active in the discussions.

I’m in an alumni group, and a couple of Excel groups, and the discussions are lively and interesting. I visit a couple of times a week, and have made a few new contacts through the group discussions.

What will I do with all these contacts? Who knows? Maybe they’ll lead to consulting opportunities, or resources when I’m stuck on a project.

Find Me at LinkedIn

You can find my profile at http://www.linkedin.com/in/debradalgleish and let me know if you’re in there too. If you’re in LinkedIn, perhaps you’ll let me know what value you find there, if any.

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2 Responses

  1. Jason Morin says:

    Debra,

    LinkedIn has allowed me to do the following:

    1) To re-connect with several old colleagues from previous employers. These were people that I had lost touch with over the years

    2) To re-connect with old friends from college, many with whom I had lost contact over the past decade

    3) To research potential clients to find out more about their backgrounds and how their organizations are structured. Note: people conveniently hide certain aspects of their background just like they would a resume.

    4) To recruit for my company. And since most of the folks I link in with are also in the same industry as me (logistics/supply chain), I have direct connection with a good pool of talent

    5) To learn from others. I always read answers to questions that are posted to inventory management/supply chain categories, and there’s some insightful answers (and of course there’s always the response from the sales guy / consultant who is offering his services).

    6) To keep up to date on my connections’ status. I always want to know if they’re switched jobs. Of course not all my connections keep their profiles current, but many do and when they update their profile, you’ll be alerted

    7) To see who my connections are linked in with. If I find I’m trying to learn more about a company, and a friend of mine links in with person X at the company, I can ask my friend about the nature of their connection with person X.

  2. Thanks Jason, that’s a great explanation of how LinkedIn has helped you.

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