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Old 23rd March 2008, 02:05 PM   #21
playsted
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I have been using facebook and linkedin for some time now. I agree that they build a network to get you seen, rather than you going out and soliciting work from people that are in both your and others networks. The question and answer features of LinkedIn provide a great forum like experieince to get advice from experts. These sites are worth a few minutes of your time during the week.

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Old 27th March 2008, 08:14 AM   #22
amichalski
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I avoided all the networking-focused sites for a long time because I already spend so much time on forums, and it just didn't seem practical to add another membership/commitment/thing to worry about every week. But then all at once I got LinkedIn invitations from three or four people I know and respect, and suddenly it seemed like a good thing to do.

It does take some time to set up your profile. And like Scott said, some of what's requested seems a little too specific to share online. For example, I wasn't too sure my former employers would be thrilled about my defining their organizations in detail. Instead I summarized them at the end of my own company profile with a note something to the effect of "full work history details on request."

I'm with Amir on this one: the Answers feature is great! Just like in a forum, if you want to learn, simply read. No other participation is required. But if you want to reach out and help someone out by sharing knowledge, the opportunity's there. That's really all the "social" I need. And sometimes there's a bonus to answering, too. People regularly use Answers to collect opinions and experiences that they later turn into blog or article material. They almost always give full-name credit and a link to anyone they quote. I have gotten some nice unexpected inbound links from just answering a question.

Once that initial profile set-up is finished, LinkedIn's not a tremendous time-sucker. I just scan through the recent questions, and if nothing piques my interest, I move on to the next task.

From what I understand, LinkedIn's Groups feature is where a person can end up spending eternity online. For that reason, I haven't gotten involved. But again, it's there if you want it.

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