IN THE LOOP

Lately we’ve been getting lots of link requests from people using the LinkedIn.com business networking service. And no wonder: there are over 14 million users.

LinkedIn is a contact generator. When you sign up for the service, which is free, you enter information about yourself and your profession. People who want to add you to their contact list send you an email and request the link. If you say yes, you not only add them to your contact list but you get to see their list of contacts as well.
This obviously has uses for both professional and social contacts. One of our links has over 500 contacts of their own. We can see their names, professions and whatever other information they are willing to make public, such as location, email address and personal web site. Some have added their interests, educational level and other information.

When you go the web site to sign up for a LinkedIn account, there are seven tabs across the top of the screen. One is for your profile, which you can edit, another for your contacts, which will in turn take you to their contacts, and so on. One of the tabs is for jobs and hiring, which would seem to be one of the most useful aspects of being linked in. We noticed that the big advertising agency, Y&R Ogilvy, is looking for a creative director in our city and Google is looking for a marketing person. The “Services” tab lets you see people who your various contacts have recommended for jobs.

An “Answers” tab on the web site lets you pose a question to thousands of people who might have knowledge or an interest in your field or you can post yourself as an expert to be consulted. This is all free but they also have paid services with extra features. You can look these over at the web site: LinkedIn.com.

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