How and why I use LinkedIn

I have to admit that for years I was pretty sniffy about LinkedIn. I used to think it was the boring Facebook for nerdy squares (or something). Then again, I used to think Facebook was the boring Facebook for nerdy squares, so what do I know…

Anyway, I’ve got into LinkedIn much more in recent months. Why and how? Read on…

  1. I always link to everyone who asks. This is partly because I don’t want to appear rude, but also because you never know who might be a useful or interesting connection. I wonder how many of you keep your networks ‘manageable’ rather than open. Does that mean I’m inundated with posts? Not really, but there’s always fresh stuff on my feed.
  2. Having an open network means I get articles and posts from a wide range of people with all sorts of jobs who live all over the world. I don’t think I’ve met more than about 10% of them, so I’m always reading about unexpected things that keep my mind broadened.
  3. I got into LinkedIn when I was gainfully employed. I don’t know how important this is, but a sudden appearance on LinkedIn can often denote the end of a job. If you don’t want to denote that, jump in now (unless you just lost your job. Actually, never mind – just do it whenever you like!).
  4. I have a feeling there are vast slices of super-LinkedIn that I have no idea about. Sometimes a post appears in my feed with 10,000 likes and 2000 comments and I wonder how the hell that happens. I think I’m also a bit of a relative LinkedIn newbie, so I may be missing a bunch of interesting nuances and skills.
  5. The big LinkedIn dude in my feed is a guy called Tom Goodwin. He’s Head of Innovation at Zenith USA and he seems to do several interesting posts a day which then get 5000 likes and 500 comments. But he seems like a good bloke and I think a drink with him would be fun.
  6. LinkedIn often feels like a D&AD annual from 10-15 years ago. When I wander through through the names of people LinkedIn thinks I might know they tend to be very interesting creatives in the Autumn of their careers. I find it very interesting to see what they’re up to now.
  7. You can apparently link with all sorts of fascinating CCOs, CEOs, Presidents, Chairpeople etc. of past and present. A case in point: I’m not entirely sure why Mark Wnek linked to me a few months back, but I find his new project fascinating.
  8. There are in-jokes on the site, like being rude about Gary Vaynerchuck, but I’m 100% certain Gary doesn’t care about that. In fact I think he wears such attention as a badge of honour. People also like to complain about those who use LinkedIn to express political opinions or as some kind of dating site. I don’t see much evidence of either.
  9. There’s a lot of public proclamation of worker availability and worker need (that might be kind of the point). I think it’s great that a forum to connect workers and recruiters exists that allows both to express themselves creatively (or not, as the case may be).
  10. I once asked a couple of questions that spread around the site like wildfire. They asked about the existence of ad agencies that had female or minority names above the door (not many do, at least compared to the number with just white guy names). The reaction made me realise just how fertile the diversity debate is. Anyway, I wonder how much this post will be shared around, but if I want to give it an extra push I’ll need to finish with a LinkedIn in-joke question.

Do you agree?