I’ve had a profile on LinkedIn, the business focused social network site, for quite a while. It recently had a major make-over and I find the new interface much more approachable.
It also seems like it has taken off as I’ve seen much more activity recently. I’m not sure if this the new UI working, more people experimenting with business focused social networks or just because I’m using it more myself?
It has been handy to keep in contact with former colleagues, find new contacts in related industries or other areas of interest. I’ve also been able to help a few others as LinkedIn relies on a trusted referral model. Seems odd that someone in Idaho was introduced to a contact in the U.K. via a referrer in New Zealand. I knew both, but they wouldn’t have known I was a mutual contact without LinkedIn..
If you’re considering joining, or already using, LinkedIn and Outlook be sure to get their free Outlook Toolbar. In addition to adding LinkedIn integration it’s got a handy “Grab” tool, powered by anagram, which allows you to transfer contact information from an email directly into an Outlook Contact (in the correct fields).
An example of Outlook integration is this info button. It appears on emails and enables you to see if your contact uses LinkedIn, showing their chosen public profile, or invite them if they don’t!
If you’re a TypePad Blogger LinkedIn can be integrated with your side-bar using, literally, a single tick-box. They also offer a variety of HTML badges for any web page or blog post!