For all of you having election withdrawal, I’d like to announce my candidacy for President of LinkedIn. Free cake for everyone!
Debra’s post a few weeks ago about endorsements on LinkedIn got me thinking about the site’s fundamental purpose. I noticed something curious recently, when I talk about the maturation of the social media toolset for social change purposes: email, Facebook, Twitter, blogs. And I often forget to mention LinkedIn until someone shouts out, “Hey, what about LinkedIn?” And I say, “Oh, yes, I forgot, and it’s much better since it added the ability to create groups a few years ago.” But it’s not a rousing endorsement.
And then Debra’s post made a light bulb go off and I understand why. Unlike the other social media tools, LinkedIn fosters one-to-one network connections even if it’s through several degrees of separation, the fundamental purpose of LinkedIn is to connect one business person to another in a rather tightly controlled environment. You can see you are connected to someone by several steps and have to go through the process of getting their permission to access your valuable business contact. That’s why people wary of the uncontrolled chaos of Facebook or Twitter, feel so comfortable on LinkedIn. It looks social but it is very limited in it’s sociability – it’s the online equivalent of handing out your business card. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very good at what it does and the groups are a great idea – but they tend to run out of steam after an initial burst of activity.
And then a few weeks ago, LinkedIn started to offer the ability for other folks to endorse your friends (Beth was my first endorser, naturally!) It’s very kind of people to endorse me but it seems like I should be able to something more with them. So, that’s why I’ve decided to launch my campaign as President of LinkedIn, no reason to let all those good endorsements go to waste – and you all miss election season, don’t you?