Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Linkedin as "talk" medium or "work" medium?

Unlike other social networking sites like Facebook, Linkedin has the opportunity to be more than a "talk" medium (where people chat, connect, socialize, etc.). Linkedin can become a "work" medium, where people create (or co-create) actual value and trade economic entities (including knowledge, resources, opportunities, products, services, cash, etc.).

But this shift to a "work" environment requires a strategic mindset. It requires self-discipline. And it requires absolute honesty. In other words, it requires that Linkedin users ask themselves the tough business questions, such as: For every minute that I spend on Linkedin, what is my return on investment? (You can use "For every 15 minutes" instead of "For every minute").

Another important question is: What do you think Linkedin really is? For some people, it's social and professional environment to network. For others, it's a very specific tool to help them achieve very specific career or business objectives.

For me, it's a tool to gain marketing information and gather market research data. It's also a tool to forge partnerships for my various products and businesses. Lastly, it's a marketing tool to generate soft leads.

Ultimately, we all have to decide whether to view Linkedin as a "talk" medium or a "work" medium. What we get out of Linkedin will depend heavily on how we look at it.