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Jan 15, 2008

Understanding LinkedIn

Facebook and MySpace are social networks focused on personal friends and family. LinkedIn is a social network, but the focus is on the user's professional affiliations. In fact, the CEO of LinkedIn is a board member for Vox, an emerging personal network operated by Six Apart.

Features of LinkedIn

Rather than photo, music, video, and activity sharing, LinkedIn tries to match user's professional interests. This includes job search and hiring, business partnerships, and companies seeking consultant services.

  • Home - an inbox. Network update is similar to Facebook's mini-feed that reports on the activities of friends.
  • People - means to find old friends
  • Jobs & Hiring - means for members to seek jobs
  • Services - means for consultants to seek engagements
  • Answers - a forum for asking questions and gaining answers. The ontology is structured for business issues.
  • Profile - basically a resume with parts that you can hide from public view
  • Contacts - your circle of associates


  • Invite and connect with your email contacts
  • Recommend your connections
  • Send email to connections
  • Post questions and answers to meet people with similar interests
  • Join groups - although creating groups seems to be closed to the public


LinkedIn has no blogging, limited photo sharing, and no effort to target video sharing - which are common features in personal networks. It's not as sexy, but effective for business networking.

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