Saturday, December 31, 2005

$ H3 turns Linkedin into money-machine

Websites such as H3 ( and Jobkabob ( are beginning to reveal the money-making capabilities of social networking software like Linkedin and Hi5.

Indeed, with H3, you actually get paid a decent "commission" every time you help to put a qualified professional into a vacant job. H3's white paper on Talent Scouts is definitely worth reading, not just literally but also between the lines, where you can almost feel that something new and big is happening; that society is becoming a vast network, and those who know how to play the networking game will win big time -- socially, economically and politically.

$ No security in obscurity

"If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of everyone, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density at any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property." - Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson says sharing ideas and knowledge doesn't impoverish the giver, yet I submit it even ENRICHES the giver in that he can see the market value for his ideas. Indeed, if people express appreciation for his ideas (and the quality of the thinking behind them), then they might hire him for contracts.

This is one of the great opportunities at Linkedin: you can share your valuable knowledge and ideas with all your connections. Only then will they see your professional worth, and only then will they think of you if a contract or job opportunity arises.

Yet this requires that one carefully write one's Linkedin profile to reveal one's best ideas, insights and innovations.

Unfortunately, most of the Linkedin profiles I've seen are carelessly written, revealing lack of professional purpose and career focus. This being said, I realize it is difficult to establish a career goal, so it is quite understandable that most people do not have one. But at the very least, since Linkedin is all about networking (i.e. sharing valuable information), one should make some effort in listing one's valuable information somewhere in one's Linkedin profile in order to benefit others and, of course, oneself.

In the end, Jefferson's brilliantly penned quote is more relevant than ever in today's competitive economy, where "there is no security in obscurity." In other words, if other people don't know you through the ideas and information that you circulate, then they cannot buy from you nor offer you jobs or contracts.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Caring / Competency / Competition

The orange circle represents the circle of friends that we trust. Specifically, we trust that our friends will never HARM us. Whether they can help us professionally or in business is a different matter. The focus is on emotional information-sharing. ("How's Teresa? How are the kids? Did you recover from that ski accident?")

The green circle represents the professional or business contacts, with whom we work or share knowledge in order to mutually increase our respective competencies or market value. The focus is on intellectual information-sharing. ("Did you hear about the Ajax trend? What do you think of RSS and Web 2.0?")

The red circle represents the competitive arena in which we compete.

As you can see, because the red circle is growing rapidly (due to competition from other industries, from automation, from developing countries, etc.), there is a need to grow the green circle by multiply connections through which we can actually learn professionally useful skills and competencies.

How to keep in touch with your connections

Okay, you worked hard at it and now you have 100+ connections on Linkedin.

What should you do next?

How about creating a blog where you share your best professional and/or business knowledge? With RSS, you can even allow your Linkedin connections to subscribe, so that they receive your new postings as soon as they are posted!

It's a marvelous way to keep in touch, while providing useful information to your entire network of contacts.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

We 2.0 - beyond Web 2.0

LinkedIn is one of those tools that could be quite useful in creating what I call "We 2.0": the New People, globally connected via Cyberland.

Yup, all Linkedin users are "village people."

We 2.0 is a more powerful concept than the Web 2.0 we hear so much about in cyberpress.

For one thing, it focuses on people, not on technology. It doesn't even focus on "business" in the traditional sense of the word.

Yet am I just playing with words? Isn't the Web (whether 1.0 or 2.0) just a piece of technology or a technology platform?

Well, words are important. For example, if you ask people if they're for or against the war in Iraq, many will say they are against.

But if you ask them if they are FOR or AGAINST the "struggle for democracy in Iraq," then you might find more people to support what the Americans are doing (or trying to do) in that region.

Similarly, "We 2.0" focuses people's attention on the ultimate goal: a united mankind, where everybody freely collaborates and shares what they know, as well as the tools they've built (especially in the case of open-source developer communities).

Linkedin allows people to make the first step toward reaching the ideal of a united mankind, by enabling them to network with others and stay in touch with them.

Important: your Profile

It's so important to create an information-rich profile that I'll borrow an excellent piece of advice from a fellow blogger:

Create a user-friendly profile. Your LinkedIn profile is your virtual business card. Make sure that it represents you the way you want to be viewed by strangers - make that ‘people you haven’t been introduced to, yet.’ A sketchy LinkedIn profile signals that your busy day doesn’t allow you to fill in trivial details like what you’re doing now, what you’ve done in the past, or any other useful information. Such an incomplete profile won’t serve you as you network on LinkedIn, but it’s impolite as well: its message is “I’m going to use this database to find people, but I won’t bother to include enough information about myself to indicate how I might assist anyone else.” Take a few moments to fill in the gaps.

Details HERE.