Archive for March, 2009

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  • LinkedIn Tip: Answer this… What are you expecting LinkedIn to do for you?… #

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Online services were normally limited to the coding capabilities of the developers and most recently online web applications are becoming more sophisticated than ever and more flexible for integration in various services. LinkedIn saw the benefits of this and ended up having their own applications platform in late 2008. These applications grant better functionality to LinkedIn members and serve as profile enhancers that add more appeal and generate a better impression as a professional. Here are some of the recommended applications to use for adding more professionalism to your profile.

Google Presentation

LinkedIn and all the other social networking profiles lack interactive features, but if you add the Google Presentation application, you can turn your still profile into something that can drive more interest to your viewers. Everyone knows how well made presentations can make an impact during speeches and conferences. Use that same concept in your social networking profile and you should find more people running after you. Of course, the presentation must look really good because you are in LinkedIn and you should always keep professionalism in mind.

Company Buzz

It is always important to keep an open channel and when it comes to business, keeping an open channel allows you to understand what other people think about the business that you are in. This appears to be beyond the scope of what LinkedIn has to offer which is why the Company Buzz application exists. This application links to the Twitter activity that relates to the company you are in so you can keep an easy track on what people say about your business based on key words and tweets. This can be shared among your coworkers and other people you are connected to in LinkedIn.

Blog Link

One of the features that most of the social networks have that LinkedIn doesn’t is a blogging function. This is because LinkedIn keeps focus with the business functions and having a blogging feature may cause people to use it for personal purposes. However there are many online entrepreneurs updating their business blogs everyday and previously, people could only post a link in hopes of them clicking on it.

Now LinkedIn can fetch entries on the blog to display on the LinkedIn profile for all to see just by having your profile glanced at. Blog link supports a variety of blog platforms so nobody having an ongoing blog should be left out. A blog can turn your complete profile into a more attractive one where people connected to you can always be updated with your latest activity and progress.

Box.net Files

File sharing used to be popular among local networks, but now it is heavily being practiced over the internet due to the connection speeds being much higher than before and more online services like Box.net providing affordable packages in getting all sorts of files across. Whether it is a document or interactive application, files stored on the box.net account can now be shared on the LinkedIn profile without the need of posting a messy link.

There are more applications to choose from if you check out the list by logging into your LinkedIn account. Choose the applications that you need to avoid your profile from being too cluttered.

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A lot of people around the web are getting into all kinds of different social networking websites. Every person probably has their own reasons due to the growing number of features that each network offers. But a considerable number of people join these networks because they like the blogging features that they come with since they can freely blog and have their entries gain attention right away since new entries are usually announced at other people’s pages that are connected.

Although LinkedIn has similar features to the standard social networking website, LinkedIn is strictly for professionals and although some professionals have their own business blogs, LinkedIn doesn’t have any support for professionals to have their own blog at the LinkedIn server. LinkedIn probably didn’t include that as it somewhat violates their goal in becoming a professional resource. However, this doesn’t give you any reason to be hopeless just because you love to update your business blog.

This is why LinkedIn now offers a means to integrate WordPress blogs into the LinkedIn profiles in the form of a widget. This allows LinkedIn users who have their own WordPress blogs to display their latest entries on their LinkedIn profile and it blends in pretty well.

The best thing about this is that there is no cost involved in the entire integration process and implementation takes around 5 minutes with 2 different ways to hook your blog up. The easiest method is to use the LinkedIn application for WordPress.

And remember that WordPress blogs are used for marketing and selling among other useful money making approaches. Incorporating your business WordPress blog to the LinkedIn profile basically gives your blog more visibility with more LinkedIn members wanting to check out the opportunities listed on the blog Think of it as a free way of advertising your blog in a social networking site. This method is also good in gaining more search engine exposure since LinkedIn has a high page rank to begin with.

Although LinkedIn is improving their support with other blogs and online services, new business bloggers should set up a WordPress account to take advantage of this good integration. Having your business blog noticed will not only give you the jobs or sales that you need, but you will also get a lot more respect and trust from the LinkedIn community providing that you are blogging for a good cause.

The WordPress widget is very flexible can be moved around the profile for that perfect position using the drag-and-drop. It can also be displayed in the LinkedIn homepage to keep track of the latest updates. One of the interesting features of the WordPress widget is the fact that is open source so improvements are to be expected. It works on both WordPress blogs and other sites that use the WordPress engine. Now travelers do not need to worry about the need of switching to a WordPress hosting or vice-versa just to get the widget to work.

Blog updates will be reflected on your connected members as well making this WordPress widget a valuable addition to any LinkedIn user’s profile. Don’t forget to keep it updated as you are guaranteed to have more readers as long as you keep your connections close.

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  • Reading Twitter Means Business #
  • LinkedIn Tips: Find 3 LinkedIn groups that interest you and join them #
  • LinkedIn Tips: It’s a simple one – time – find 15 minutes/day to participate… #
  • LinkedIn Tip: Plug in the Company Buzz App to learn what people are saying about you. #

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Social networking has been around before the new millennium with several sites trying to bring people together. But since the advancements of web development started surfacing, new online social networking sites were made and has since became the center of attention by a large majority of internet users. Right now, hundreds of services are competing for the best social networking site in hopes of getting more people on board or getting acquired by a top corporation. Improves of one social networking site usually affect other online services to improve and show similar improvements.

LinkedIn is one of those services with an entirely different approach. LinkedIn doesn’t head in the battlefield of social networks because there are enough social networking sites in the circle. LinkedIn plays it differently by targeting the professionals only so they can establish a social network with its own identity giving people a reason to join no matter what social network they are currently in. LinkedIn started roughly the same time as the other social networking big boys back in 2003 and since their exploding growth, other online services started to get affected in a good way. Here are some of the online services that have made changes to connect with LinkedIn better.

E-mail Services

LinkedIn users will never give up their business e-mail addresses just to use LinkedIn so now LinkedIn has provided a good way in finding new LinkedIn contacts by allowing LinkedIn to search through contacts of the top webmail providers, which are Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, and AOL. This integration makes it very easy in adding people without too much work in exporting contacts and performing multiple copy/pastes.

Online Contact Managers

Several laptop users encounter the frustration of suffering from data corruption and loss and some of that data can include important contacts for business purposes. This is why more people started to lean on online contact managers instead because they know their data is safe and they profile more functionality and features compared to standard webmail services.

Since these online contact managers have similar visions, LinkedIn decided to partner with the ones that are willing, like Plaxo, a popular online contact manager that has over 20 million users registered. Now the two communities are joined because of the ability to sync LinkedIn contacts with Plaxo in a similar fashion to the way it syncs to E-mail accounts. The people that benefit here are mainly the users because they no longer need to login both networks unless extremely necessary.

Job Search Engines

These services are fairly obvious because LinkedIn is all about job creation and so are the job search engines leaving them both having a good chemistry. Of course, some of them may show up to be strongly competitive, but some job search engines like Simply Hired. Simply Hired is just one of the companies that believe that using LinkedIn’s newly released API would benefit on their behalf. Now jobseekers that are registered at Simply Hired can easily find job postings that are made by LinkedIn connections.

LinkedIn is continuing to make an impact in online services including other social networking sites. Integration is a good thing and it will help both sides grow their respective networks.

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Back in the early days when LinkedIn was still growing, LinkedIn was considered a social networking site with high goals of gathering professionals across the globe into a single community where professionals that know each other can connect and keep in touch professionally using the unique features that LinkedIn has to offer. LinkedIn continues to grow even now and the developers have been hard at work developing new features that can attract new users and encourage existing members to use their services even more.

This plan has worked with the successful implementation of the application platform and other free features like the popular LinkedIn Answers where people can seek professional help from the community. But these nifty features do not take the full credit alone in LinkedIn’s growth because LinkedIn’s coverage is a lot larger than some people may think.

In fact, LinkedIn has become so widely used that other developers have been looking into putting LinkedIn features into their applications so that people can use LinkedIn functions without depending on their browser. There aren’t many at the moment, but with LinkedIn’s number of registered users growing every day, more applications will provide LinkedIn support in the future. Here are a few that are working right now.

Digsby

Digsby is an instant messaging application that has been receiving a lot of attention since its first release last February 2008. This is because Digsby is and will remain as a free application and its seamless integration with instant messaging networks, e-mail accounts, and social networking sites attracted so many people in taking the application for a spin. The concept and design was appreciated by the majority and now the Digsby team has been hard at work ironing out bugs and adding new features to their highly anticipated software.

One of the features added to a recent build was LinkedIn support and that has caused nothing but praise for both existing Digsby users and LinkedIn loyalists. Currently, Digsby allows fetching the newsfeed from LinkedIn and checking for new messages from the program. You can also set your status from Digsby, making it a good start for Digsby lovers to dive into LinkedIn without any worries. More features may come as things progress.

Xobni

Despite the numerous online services available for managing contacts and e-mail, a good number of people still use Microsoft Outlook to manage their contacts so they can access them offline. Microsoft Outlook has served people on the go for many years, but never ended up to be a perfect personal information manager due to its limited searching capabilities. Xobni fills in that role by offering a faster search for cluttered inboxes. Because people who use Xobni with Outlook are most likely professionals on the go, LinkedIn and Xobni partnered to add LinkedIn support to contacts so that LinkedIn information can be displayed on the Xobni sidebar. This shows some basic information fetched from the LinkedIn profile including the number of connections the person has and a convenient link to his or her LinkedIn profile. Contact management now meets professional social networking in Xobni.

These are just some of the programs that have been getting better reception since LinkedIn was implemented. More applications should adapt because LinkedIn is expanding and adding even more features.

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  • LinkedIn Tips: Update Your Professional Description to highlight your expertise #
  • LinkedIn Tips: Create a Vanity Link for your LinkedIn Profile URL #
  • Maximize your LinkedIn experience – Find 3 LI groups that interest you and join them #

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Social networking websites have come a long way in development with all of them starting in their beta stages. Now, most of them being packed with more features than the founders originally planned. This is normal for social networking sites because visions can always change as their member base continues to grow and social networks have always been about the people that are in it rather than the service themselves.

LinkedIn fits into that category because LinkedIn shares the same concept to other social networking sites that have millions of registered users. However, LinkedIn has a history of its own due to its vision to redefine the social networking community by targeting a certain crowd – professionals.

Back Then…

Before the advent of LinkedIn, there were already plenty of websites that allowed people to sign up and look for careers online. These sites had so many visitors because they were the largest sources at their time with many jobs available and with the increasing number of people going online, the numbers just keep growing.

Then in 2003, after five people started planning things out in fall 2002, LinkedIn launched and started out with 300 members with the month ending at 4,500 due to its amazing concept, which was combining the social networking trend to grow businesses. By the end of December 2004, LinkedIn reached a huge milestone with over a million registered users and a good chunk of them coming from places outside the US.

The interesting thing about this figure is that LinkedIn doesn’t seek to compete with the other social networking sites out there, because those sites are there to keep friends in touch and generate a “cool” trend for leisure purposes. LinkedIn set a new standard in social networking and was sure to expand even more from there.

Now and Beyond

With companies investing so much money for advertising throughout the years, LinkedIn had no problems in keeping up with the uptime costs. Still premium plans were eventually introduced to frequent LinkedIn users who want to take advantage of more features and tons of different features were added to allow more people in the community to keep in touch with each other professionally.

Right now many of the online application services and a few programs are already providing support and integration with LinkedIn due to more people signing up for their services. Especially with the economic downturn taking place all over the world, more people will flock to LinkedIn in hopes of getting in touch with old colleagues and finding new opportunities without breaking a sweat outdoors.

LinkedIn already has 35 million members since February 2009 and that number is expected to grow making it in-line with many of the top social networking sites on the web. Developers are working hard to implement new features like the LinkedIn Polls along with a set of other applications since they launched their new applications platform back in fall 2008.

With so many members registered there throughout its history, it should be very easy to find a few people that you know in LinkedIn so you can immediately get started and join the millions of other professionals that are thankful of LinkedIn’s existence and legacy.

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While LinkedIn is a free service, plenty of other extra features are available only to paid subscribers. Purchasing a monthly or yearly account in LinkedIn is one way to support their development while enjoying the added features that can make your business connections grow more efficiently. There are different plans available ranging from different prices. Since money will be spent, it is important to follow these steps if your mind is set on upgrading.

Be familiar with the service

If you’ve been a member for a couple of months, it is recommended to continue using the free account until you realized the need for extra features. Make sure you have put all the free features to good use such as filling up your profile and adding others to your network. Many of the millions of members survive with free accounts simply because they are happy with what they have. You may be too if you consider yourself as a LinkedIn expert.

Understand the added features of paid accounts

There is a comprehensive chart found on the link to upgrade your account. You can be the judge in deciding what account is best for you, but in case you are confused, then focus on the 2 critical features that make up most of the upgrade – ability to send InMails and membership to the OpenLink network.

InMails is a special form of message that can be sent to any person in the LinkedIn network with added security and professionalism. This message appears on their homepage and is guaranteed for the recipient to respond in at least 7 days otherwise the InMail is credited again. This is very useful for reaching out to others without being ignored.

The OpenLink network is a restricted network available to paid members only. This network is for LinkedIn users who want to find other professionals that want to meet new people. These people can be contacted by means of a special OpenLink messaging system. As long as you maintain your account, you can receive unlimited OpenLink messages.

The other features listed grant greater quantities of existing features, but it is best to upgrade for the sake of many features rather than just one feature. Of course the rest of the decision lies on you.

Compare the packages

All you need to do is to figure out how much time you are willing to spend on LinkedIn. The three packages there only differ in the quantity of some of the bonuses. For example, a “Business Plus” account allows you to send 10 InMails instead of 3 on the business account.

Start out small

A good start is to try a single month of a business account for $24.95 and evaluate the features from there. Make good use of the month and then decide on what yearly package to get that best fits your budget. Yearly packages can grant you 2 additional months free giving you some savings.

Remember that you are not obliged to upgrade and upgrade accounts should be geared towards advanced users. Find out your goals with LinkedIn and figure out exactly what you need to attain the goal. Who knows, you may have all the tools you need as a free member.

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