LinkedIn’s Web Strategy

LinkedIn’s CEO suggests that there’s a few new features and web strategies to watch for:

“LinkedIn will dominate the business of business networking — serving as a “productivity tool,” used for professional reference checking, recruiting, and to get expert advice.”

As well as some hint’s to some hooks into existing social networking systems

“…Wouldn’t it at least be smart, then, for LinkedIn to deploy itself as an application on Facebook, given Facebook’s new open API strategy? Quite possibly, said Nye who pointed out that Hoffman was an early investor in Facebook, and that Facebook backer Peter Thiel also has money in LinkedIn. “We know each other well,” said Nye. ‘We like each other.’…”

Counterpoint: They’d probably need to move there quickly if mojo is right:

“My wife is a good example. She’d never be caught dead on Linkedin, but she increasingly uses Facebook for work. That’s supposedly Linkedin’s market, but Facebook ability to connect schoolmates/classmates gives it a huge advantage over Linkedin. “

Update: Jim thinks that LinkedIn is too expensive, I know for me and others ways to find people online (simply asking peers or using blogs) to find people is another route. Have you ever tried to find someone’s email by typing their first, last, and then the “@” symbol? You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to find people’s email addresses. Look, I’m not knocking LinkedIn, I’m just speculating on the side and hoping they’ll continue to succeed.

Segmentation? Future generations, filter features
Do you get the difference here folks? LinkedIn sees itself as a social networking tool for business. Facebook is a social network for life, which may include business. I believe that the next generation of workers will be sharing their lives (which includes career and work) online, it’s natural and native to them. If Linkedin segments themselves as a separate island, does it serve them well when future generations are on the continent? I mean, who’s to say that Facebook can’t create a ‘professional’ filter that allows a user to share their business version of a profile as public, and all personal and private info is for ‘friends’ only.

Opportunities

One key feature I see that LinkedIn from benefiting is to become the online source of the resume, not just the networks that are connected to the jobs. Help users to answer; “what skills have I learned, who else has them, where can I find others with these skills”. There’s an opportunity to expand the tool as the online resume.

If LinkedIn is to become the premiere social networking tool for businesses (as stated in this article) then they need to consider joining all the communities that existing in the context of business. If I were working at LinkedIn, I would be pushing an API to Facebook quickly and also universal login that web managers could integrate into their site. This identity systems could feed into recruiting systems, monster.com and even the ‘career’ pages on corporate websites –let me fill out my core information (or different versions of it) once and submit to many. It’s an API really, and would actually be a competitor to some identity management systems, almost like OpenID.

Evolution

LinkedIn has been around since the first wave (I was a heavy evangelist), are they ready to evolve as new communities and generations form online? Online, the future of a business persona and personal persona may be blurred –it is for me.

Update: Interesting comparisons from Accman of Facebook vs LinkedIn
July 16th: Jeff Pulver is not accepting any more LinkedIn invites. I rarely accept them too.