In a stable economy, the main premise of LinkedIn is that by creating and sharing your resume online, some day you will be presented with an opportunity for a new job, new business deal, new client, or other serendipitous event that you would have otherwise not experienced had you not been on LinkedIn. I have yet to experience a serendipitous event on LinkedIn but am still holding out hope that it may happen someday.
Since LinkedIn tugs at the ambitious bones in your body, it is probably not very intriguing to someone content in their current employment. However, LinkedIn has recently expanded beyond being a simple business address book and into a more interactive experience. For example, LinkedIn Groups facilities communication among college alumni, corporate associates, or others. Further, LinkedIn's latest announcement is of their new application directory which is a long time coming and worthy of analysis.
LinkedIn Application Directory
Unlike the social networks Facebook and MySpace, LinkedIn is more about business than fun. However, that is all about to change with the release of the LinkedIn Application Directory. The applications are developed by LinkedIn or by a big company like Google, WordPress, or Typepad. Thus, it appears that the LinkedIn application directory is going to be tightly managed by LinkedIn and not open to random developers like the applications of Facebook and MySpace. A benefit of a tightly managed application directory is that users will not be harassed by silly or spammy applications. The following are the LinkedIn applications that are most interesting:
- Blog Link - By installing this application, you can view blog posts written by people in your list of contacts. In addition, the application automatically syndicates your blog posts on your public profile and to contacts that are also using Blog Link. However, your blog(s) must be designated as a "Blog" in your profile's list of websites for this application to syndicate blog posts.
- Reading List by Amazon - Share your favorite books with your LinkedIn contacts. Seems like a great way to learn about good books related to your industry or interests.
- Company Buzz - Sounds intriguing but was experiencing technical difficulties when I tried to add it to my profile. It was advertised as a service that tracks twitter comments about your company.
I have yet to figure out how to go to a specific application without first going to the application directory. Another note, changes made to your profile take at least 15 minutes to be displayed on your public profile and, thus, are not viewable in real time.