Earlier this week, social networking site LinkedIn announced the launch of a variety of new applications with the intent of making the site more engaging. I haven’t talked much about LinkedIn here because, well, until now there really hasn’t been much to say about the site.
Don’t get me wrong, LinkedIn is definitely the “go-to” networking site for working professionals and currently has a worldwide userbase topping 30 million. In fact, according to a recent study by MediaPost, the site is a hub for high-income senior executives and “savvy networkers.” It’s just that the site has always been static and unfortunately, static rarely cuts it on today’s Web. It’s a great resource for posting an online resume, sharing work experience and connecting with other like-minded professionals, but it’s suffered greatly from having any significant utility as an interactive platform.
So, how has it maintained a solid reputation and kept 30 million users around, you ask? There’s simply no competition. Plaxo is all but dead in the water. Because of its user demographics, Plaxo never quite picked up speed as an active social networking tool despite attempts to integrate interactive applications onto its site.
LinkedIn’s launch of new applications this week is intended to help boost collaboration, ease the sharing of information, assist with profile customization and gain key insights about people talking about your company. Unlike Plaxo’s move to synch in user connections with other social media sites, LinkedIn has unveiled applications mostly tailored toward their primary executive audience.
I’ve only integrated the WordPress application at this time, which serves as an auto-RSS feed, displaying my most recent blog posts on my full LinkedIn profile (apparently, it only displays on the full profile which limits viewership to my network connections). The application addition process was simple enough, but in scanning the other applications, I’m still not convinced the site’s dynamic will drastically change.
To that end, do you actually ever regularly update your LinkedIn status?
I’ll argue that the reason people don’t regularly post LinkedIn status updates is because A) the primary user base likely falls into the social technographics “joiners” category and thus are not likely to be avid content creators outside of posting basic profile information and B) the site is not designed to lend itself to active interaction and engagement along the lines of a site such as Facebook.
Do I appreciate the site as a professional networking and B2B connection site? Absolutely. In fact, I think the recommendations and LinkedIn answers features are great.
Am I likely to visit there everyday with the intent of active engagement with other users? Highly doubtful.
I’d much rather be a tweet’n fool.
Then again, maybe that all changes when you crack six figures.