I've gotten pretty good value out of my paid subscription to Linkedin, for my personal career. But rarely is it helpful for my business. (Occasionally, when I'm looking to hire or ask a question.)
But what would you think about a network that is not for personal use, but enables the business to create an interactive group of customers or even prospects -- or employees? It would allow you to find vendors and service providers, potential joint venture partners, discuss issues with peers in your industry but far enough away not to be competitors...You could post your company news without filters, but only receive the news you choose, by industry, occupation, or location. You could add it to your existing site or get a whole whitelabel clone site.
[Alert, alert! Only semi-blatant plug] The reason I ask is that I've just launched such a site, and I'm looking for more and unbiased feedback!
(If you must check it out directly before rendering judgment, visit www.foorumnm.com.)
Professional social networks are not a big deal where I work. A few folks belong to a network or two but don't see the value. I can see how network membership could be beneficial but haven't seen it first hand.
LinkedIn works for me. I keep track of my classmates and former colleagues. I may be able to help any of them and they may be able to help me. You have to work at networking. Keep it fresh, keep it working. Dave
I do belong to Linkedin, but keep forgetting to update my account and just generally do stuff there. But I think this is partly due to the fact that I'm not planning to change my job at the moment and my current job does not require communication to other people. I guess if I was looking for a job, I would jump right to Linkedin.
Looking at the people I know who are into professional social networking, they're simply the ones who see the need for professional networks. Some people's work wouldn't make a network valuable at all. But for some types of work, a good network would be a great advantage, so they climb aboard LinkedIn. I think these are roughly the same people who make sure they always carry a stock of business cards around.
Others, on the other hand, simply like hooking up with people. I know a few who have something like six active social network accounts. LinkedIn just happened to be one of them.
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