Monday, May 12, 2008

At long last... I'm LinkedIn

After deliberating and procrastinating for a while, at long last I have updated my profile on LinkedIn. [see the nice blue button in the right sidebar for link too]

What is LinkedIn, you ask?

Very briefly, it is a social tool that allows you to create a network of professional connections online. This differs from facebook which is far more focused on the creation of a network of friends. So while you would not want that investment professional you met at the Sandton Convention Centre to join your facebook friends list, it may be worthwhile having him as a connection on LinkedIn.

Honestly, I was always hesitant to create this profile, mainly because of online privacy concerns. However, after becoming increasingly involved in and exposed to developments online, meeting more and more people with LinkedIn profiles, and then also finding this excellent post by Guy Kawasaki explaining top ways to increase the value you get out of LinkedIn, I made the decision to go ahead. So here we are. It's a first attempt and I'll probably refine and change it as I go along, but for now it will do nicely. And although I start off with just one connection, every journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step.

It holds definite benefits to professionals and business people, and while it's true that here in SA, we're not as socially advanced [from an online perspective] as other countries, and therefore its not often that we come across someone with a LinkedIn profile, my guess is that with reducing broadband costs and increasing levels of broadband penetration over the next year or so as we ramp up to the 2010 World Cup [with some cities even promising complete wireless coverage by that date], this will change rapidly in the coming year or two.

In fact, I think soon we'll see a lot of professionals walking around with LinkedIn profile url's on their business cards [this is on my to-do list], as well as seeing these links included in tenders and proposals submitted to prospective clients, to give them more information about the team that will be serving them.

Face it, if you're involved in business [and in some cases, even if you aren't] more and more people will be looking for you online. And they will find you. Yes, there is some info that you can control and some that you can't. This is one you can control and target at the appropriate audience, so why not do just that?

For those interested, here is some more comprehensive info:

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