3 Reasons I’m back into Linkedin August 6, 2019 by Ali Leave a Comment A little while ago I referred to Linkedin in a way that might have suggested that I was none too impressed with the business site’s wares. I have to confess that until now, this had been the case…Linked in was what I call a ’slinky spring’ of a site. It’s cool, fun and new on the day you get it, but by Boxing Day, it’s back in its box, probably broken or stretched by your younger sister. “OK”, I thought, it’s a contact mapping service. I can see who knows who. I can’t send them a message (I couldn’t then), I can’t see their photo (I still can’t). So what? When I read that I could ‘request an introduction’ I’d had enough. Can you imagine… ‘ping’ Hi Bob, it’s me jeff asking you to introduce me to sue at Microsoft in this really stylish polite manner….A year after launch, Linkedin had 560,000 members and by 2005 there were 4.4 million. The site has moved on since I last had a look around (there are now 8.5 million members), and thanks to this article in Business 2.0, (pointed out to me by Mind Candy’s Michael Smith), which tempted me to take another tour, I’m a born-again fan. I’m sure we’ve all let out a sigh as another ‘Please join my network on Linked in’ email boinks into our inbox. Well, I’m afraid that I’m once again a sender of sa(i)d mails, although I try to add something personal and interesting too! So here are three reasons I’ve started using Linkedin again;1) Now, there are a LOT more people on there who I know. Since I’d last visited, another 280 of my outlook contacts are members. Rather than any ‘please introduce me’ nonsense there’s a more subtle way which I was too cross to ponder before As an example, I’ve just typed in Yahoo! and whilst I’ve got dozens of ‘third degree’ (I know someone who knows someone at Yahoo!), I also have several ‘2nd Degree’ connections. Much more useful. One of them is an International Sales Director at Yahoo!, and luckily our mutual connection is someone I know, trust and have seen recently. If he was a close contact, I’d send him an email sounding him out, but as he’s less well known, it would be easy to mention my mission when we next cross paths, to see if he’s able to help. If my contact is able to link me into Yahoo! swiftly, he could potentially save me weeks in time and his warm introduction will begin my conversations on a positive footing.2) The new Outlook toolbar: We’ve all received an email with a carefully crafted signature. We ought to open up a new entry in our contact book and carefully enter their address, phone numbers, and full details. If you’re anything like me, it NEVER happens. So imagine if you could highlight the text of the signature, click a button marked ‘Grab’ on your desktop and – hey presto! – see the full details inputted in a new contact card. That’s just one of the neat features in Linkedin’s new toolbar. Even cooler, when someone in your network mails you, by hovering over an info logo on their email, you can read their profile and explore their recommendations through Linkedin. It’ll even highlight changes in your contacts’ profiles – genuinely useful. Check it out!3) The Linkedin Internet Explorer bar. This makes a lot more sense to me than visiting the site directly. Right up next to my Google search window, I can now knock in a name and run a quick check on what they’re up to, who we have in common, etc. It also allows you to bookmark profiles at the click of a button.The slinky spring is back out of the box, and for now, I’m back into it! Then again, it’s nearly Christmas…!