Thursday, 3 May 2007

Working It With New Linkedin Answers

I've been meaning to write a few words about new Linkedin Answers (and Questions). I discovered this new feature of the Linkedin network a while ago and recently decided to try it out. I wasn't sure what to expect really, but I've found it to be excellent so far.

You are able to ask any question you like and direct it to only your contacts, or to a much wider netowrk. You can categorise your question so that it's only directed to people who are interested in the topic. The quality of the answers I've received has been excellent. There are some seriously intelligent, qualified and helpful people out there. You are able to rate the answers if you choose to do so, which helps the person who has answered your question.

It's also a great way to find people who are interested in similar subjects to you. After someone has answered a question you've submitted, if you like the answer, you do of course have the option of asking them if they would like to connect to you.

All in all, I think it's a fantastic addition to Linkedin, and it really has made me realise how powerful and useful Linkedin is as a professional networking tool.

I've also been quite surprised at the number of people who have contacted me out of the blue, either with possible work opportunities, or to ask if I might know someone who might fit the bill. If you don't already use linkedin, or if you have an account but don't keep it updated, I encourage you to start 'working it'. You never know what opportunities may emerge through the network.

Here's my Linkedin profile. If you'd like to connect to me via Linkedin, just send me a Linkedin invite. I'd be happy to check you out and connect if we seem to have professional interests in common (and you don't seem to be a stalker, or a potential stalker of my existing connections).

Some people don't like to connect to people they haven't met face to face yet, but I believe in gaining new connections through social media, it's a beautiful thing. Having said that, I tend not to connect to recruitment agents unless I know them, as I don't want them going through my contacts and 'cold calling' for business. I'm always happy for agents to ask me if I know someone who might be looking for a particular position though.

Do you use Linkedin? If you do, how much do you use it, and what do you think of it?

3 comments:

Paull Young said...

JJ,

I clicked through from your Twitter stream - which I'm really enjoying, only 24 hours after starting to follow you.

I think LinkedIn is pretty cool - it's simple and you can't do too much with it, but it serves a useful purpose.

I've found very few Australians I know are on it, but there is a huge amount of social media types from around the world (which is a professional network I identify wiht more anyway).

I recently used LinkedIn answers for the first time to get some advice about moving to New York (I'm starting a new job there next week).

I wrote a semi-serious question asking for accomodation and general advice, and outlining my fears of the Marshmallow Man. I've gotten some really helpful responses, and a few have made me laugh.

I've noticed of late that MySpace is absolutely exploding Down Under - I'll be interested to see if LinkedIn follows suit.

Keep up the Twitting! I'm subscribed to the blog now as well.

Chisa said...

I have a LinkedIn profile, but like Paul haven't seen many Australian on it and ended up not doing much with it since most of my professional connections are local.

This questions thing sounds interesting though, a way to meet people with similar professional interests. Might have to try it out :)

jj said...

Thanks Paull and Chisa. Yes, there are definitely many more international Linkedin users than local ones. It's a great thing to be able to make international contacts so easily I think.

I've found that the uptake of local users has definitely increased over the past year or so too. I do try to encourage friends and colleagues to join when I can. I think the point is to make it as easy as possible for people to be able to find you (especially if they don't know you exist), and Linkedin helps with that.

What I've actually found is that the local people in my professional area who do use it are usually the people I want to contact, because they tend to understand the value of social media :)