linkedin I have become slightly obsessed with the professional networking site, Linkedin.  I created my profile on there a while ago, but just recently began to really use it.  It is absolutely addictive.  The Q & A section alone makes it worthwhile.  Being able to reach out to so many people in your same field, worldwide, to ask and answer questions is amazing.   There is a Group for almost everything which allows you to connect with people with shared interests and the Applications help to make your profile more interesting and give the people on your network more insight about you (i.e. your blog, books you’re reading, etc.)

I have found it especially interesting to realize the connections that I have in common with my connections – ” I didn’t know that my colleague Steve Banks knows my former co-worker Tonya Smith.”   

My new-found obsession begs the question – can you be TOO connected? Can you be TOO networked? Can you be TOO “on the grid”?  TOO easy to find?  I’m still undecided on that.  I am still surprised when I meet someone who doesn’t come up in a Google search.  I’m also a little envious.  I’ve been Google-able for a while now.  Not necessarily by choice, but it is what it is. Typically it’s not a bad thing, but the worldwide web is just that – worldwide.  Sometimes you don’t want certain people to find you and not because you are doing anything wrong, but simply because you have no control over it.  It’s too easy to find out too much about people these days.  That being said, Linkedin has set certain safeguards to try to prevent misuse and it’s much more of a professional networking site than a social one, which makes it much more appealing to me.  It’s also very easy to use. 

The old saying goes “It’s not what you know, it’s WHO you know” and these days that’s probably more true than ever with the abundance of qualified candidates (abundance in relation to the number of jobs for them to fill.)  So whatever your view on networking, it’s necessary and Linkedin is certainly one of my preferred methods of connecting.  Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think: Linkedin

Also of interest: Linked Intelligence, 100+ Smart Ways to Use Linkedin.