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more about Linkedin

Page history last edited by PBworks 11 years, 10 months ago





General idea

  • Linkedin is a Web application designed for professionals to create personal profiles listing their current and former jobs, their educational background, and professional affiliations. Members then link to each other to get job leads, hire employees, or keep in touch. Linkedin had almost 8 million users (Oct 2006)


  • Unlike social networking websites, such as MySpace.com or Friendster.com, Linkedin is focused solely on the business connection. No profile photos, no listing of your favorite song or zodiac sign.


  • Those sites make money by amassing a huge audience that attracts advertisers. Linkedin , on the other hand, appeals to professionals in the broad 25-to-65-year-old category. While some features are available for free, it's designed to be a subscription service (see BW Online, 4/10/06, "Socializing for Dollars").



How does it work?


  • Linkedin relies on connections with business colleagues and, in turn, their colleagues. In order to make new contacts a user must both request a person and have the request accepted by the other user.


  • Linkedin is developing sophisticated matching technology to identify relevant contacts for members among the people their connections know.




Main users of the site



Job seekers Looking for inside connections to target company. For job seekers, Linkedin has already begun recommending jobs offered by people their colleagues know. This matching takes into account the individual career history of members as well as likely future career progression based on the aggregate data of Linkedin profiles created by over five million professionals around the world. For example, if a member has been a sales manager for three years and people with this background tend to either move into sales director or field marketing roles, Linkedin highlights open positions with those titles currently offered by people his or her connections know.


  • Anyone visiting the Linkedin site will be able to search for people on Linkedin and find profiles maintained by professionals who have joined Linkedin . However, to get details, such as what former bosses, co-workers or business partners say about someone, visitors will need to sign up for a free Linkedin membership. Membership has additional benefits not offered by regular search engines: Linkedin members see shared professional connections and can get in touch with the people they find via introductions from people they already know.


  • Hiring managers posting jobs on Linkedin Jobs ( https://www.Linkedin.com/jobs ) receive candidates recommended by fellow employees or other trusted contacts. More than 300,000 service providers listed in the Linkedin Services business-to-business directory ( https://www.Linkedin.com/services ) have an opportunity to be at the top of the search results when contacts of their former clients search for recommended service providers. More than 1,200 membership organizations use Linkedin for Groups ( https://www.Linkedin.com/groups ) to strengthen connections between members and develop greater loyalty to the organization. Linkedin Business and Pro Accounts ( https://www.Linkedin.com/business ) enable recruiters and researchers to find people beyond their networks and get in touch with job candidates and experts more quickly and efficiently.



  • Linkedin.com, for instance, carries about 90,000 recruiter profiles, according to its founder, Konstantin Guericke, and most list a specialty. It's free to join and search the site, though other features require paid membership. To find recruiters' profiles, click on the "advanced search" tool at the top of the home page for members. In the Industry category, select "corporate services," then choose "staffing and recruiting." Enter a keyword, such as the recruiter specialty you're seeking, and then hit "search."


  • Note: the job seekers portion of Linkedin is powered by Simply Hired





  • members like Glenn Gutmacher are the ones who make LinkedIn profitable. Gutmacher works for Microsoft, identifying the right people to fill jobs at the software giant. Gutmacher and his peers at companies from Google to Salesforce.com to VMWare account for 10 percent of the site's membership. They can reach almost anybody they want via their massive networks. Gutmacher has 3,500 people with whom he directly connects. That gives him access within three degrees to about 3.5 million people. At any given time, Gutmacher might have 10 searches going within LinkedIn, looking for the best candidate for a spot in Redmond. "LinkedIn is a very efficient tool when you're trying to target passive candidates, people who aren't actively searching for a job," Gutmacher says. "For the niche that I am recruiting, usually the mid- to senior-level software and development engineers, they're all there."


  • People like Gutmacher are part of a controversial group within LinkedIn called "promiscuous linkers." The person with the most connections is San Jose-based recruiter Ron Bates, who proudly trumpets more than 28,000 direct connections on his profile. Bates has built his recruiting business on the back of LinkedIn, which is a testament to its usefulness but does little to support the high-quality network idea that Hoffman promotes. LinkedIn has tried to discourage "link banking" by showing a maximum of 500 connections on a profile page, but that has done little to stop the practice. For people like Christian Mayaud, who held the top-connected spot for a time, there's no reason to stop. Mayaud, a New York City-based VC, argues that LinkedIn's value doesn't come from your trusted direct connections. "My experience has been that they're more apt to screen you from someone who could be important in business," Mayaud says. "I have found that total strangers are more effective connections than people I know well."


Sales people And as most seasoned professionals know, the best opportunities tend to come through one's network of relationships. Increasingly, success in business is no longer based on what or even who you know, but who your contacts know.


  • Linkedin is committed to making people search smart and easy. For example, once members find someone who matches their criteria, they will be able to find professionals with similar characteristics with a single click. Also, members will be able to create search agents that notify them of new members who match their criteria.


  • "I just started doing searches. I searched on events, promotions and marketing, and I found exhibitors I wanted to attract," said Mike O'Neil, president of Denver-based Integrated Alliances. "I found out not just their name, their whole work history. So it was easy to develop a relationship by saying, 'I see you went to Arizona State,' or, 'We used to work together.' "


  • O'Neil has about 430 primary, or first-level, connections on Linkedin , which ultimately give him access to a network of 750,000 people. He and others say they use the service as if it were a personal phone book or Dex directory.


Entrepreneurs - looking for startup funding

  • And not just any 8 million people, but leading venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, along with tens of thousands of employees from Google, Microsoft, and other tech giants that use LinkedIn to find the best and brightest workers. "For many, it's become irresponsible to not invite business associates into your LinkedIn network," says Mikolaj Jan Piskorski, an assistant professor at Harvard Business School who specializes in sociology and strategy. "When that kind of cultural inflection point occurs, which is what LinkedIn is going through now, that is when things really begin to take off."


Venture Capitalists


  • George Hoyem, a VC with Blue Print Ventures in South San Francisco, turned to LinkedIn when he was doing due diligence on an Apple iMac camera. "Through LinkedIn, I got into a part of Apple that I wouldn't have been able to any other way," Hoyem says. "I wanted to make an introduction for my portfolio company into an engineering effort inside Apple. I didn't have a direct connection, but one surfaced through a link one degree removed, and we tracked him down."


  • 1-30-07 - LinkedIn Corp., a Mountain View, Calif.-based social networking company for businesspeople, has raised $12.8 million in Series C funding from Bessemer Venture Partners and European Founders Fund. Existing backers Sequoia Capital and Greylock did not participate in the deal, which reportedly came with a $250 million post-money valuation. LinkedIn previously had raised $15 million over two rounds of funding in 2004 and 2004. www.linkedin.com





  • Members can submit endorsements for people in their network. A simple line from a client or colleague helps add credibility, participants say. An example might read, "Mike is a fantastic guy that I enjoy associating with, both professionally and personally." An endorsement might make a profile stand out in a crowd, especially among recruiters.


  • __For Job seekers__ "Reviews certainly do help. The one with the endorsements is going to catch my eye first," said Heather Wiester, senior national account manager for JobPlex Inc., a Chicago-based executive- search firm. Wiester works out of the Denver office, which has placed 15 people in jobs using Linkedin . She has been using the site for three months.






Rate of growth

(from article March 2006) - The company is expecting the rate of membership growth to further accelerate in 2006. It took Linkedin three years to gain five million members. Given current accelerating growth, the company anticipates that the next five million members will join Linkedin over the next ten months and bring Linkedin 's total membership to 10 million before the end of 2006.




  • Note: the job seekers portion of Linkedin is powered by Simply Hired


Company size


  • The company currently has 50 employees and will grow its staff based on increased revenue from premium accounts, job listings and advertising.



Difficulty to get mass - acceptance


  • TO BECOME A MASS PHENOMENON--AND MASSIVELY valuable in the process--LinkedIn needs the 80 percent of members who visit the site only occasionally to become addicted users. Hoffman knows he needs to find some recipe to give members the epiphany Sampath had, that "aha!" moment when they realize that LinkedIn is as necessary a business tool as a laptop or a cell phone. "Once we get them, we can keep them from the age of 25 to 65, the time when people are most valuable, when they are out changing the world," Hoffman says. "I want to be the service for them."


  • LinkedIn is busy rolling out new features to encourage members to stick around. The most recent is LinkedIn Services, which allows members to recommend a handyman, chef, or real estate agent. "We want LinkedIn to go wherever your business network would go," Guericke says. "If it's social, we'll leave that to Facebook. But if it's about money, then it's LinkedIn." The other big push for the company in the coming year will be to extend its reach globally. There are nearly 4 million LinkedIn members outside the United States. While the service has cemented its lead in North America, it faces competition from sites in Europe and China. Not only would global expansion create new local markets, but the premise of LinkedIn gets very powerful as people connect around the world with customers, suppliers, and investors. If you're looking for a manufacturer in Korea, or a sales lead in France, LinkedIn wants to be the matchmaker.



Coming soon - yellow pages


  • LinkedIn is, in the meantime, emerging as less of a tightly focused business application than it was when it first appeared in 2001. In recent weeks the site has started allowing members to use their professional contacts to meet nonbusiness needs, like finding recommendations for plumbers and lawyers.


  • This month, Linkedin introduced a new service for personal service providers ('PSPs') for people like doctors, house-cleaners, and car mechanics. Linkedin users can recommend these professionals to other members



  • SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Finding the right attorney or plumber in the yellow pages has never been easy. It's not just any professional or tradesman you may be after, but someone who comes recommended and at a fair price.


  • Linkedin , the biggest social network for business users, late on Sunday said it will offer members a way of choosing business service providers based on recommendations instead of just random listings on traditional yellow pages guides. "No one should be picking a lawyer from the yellow pages," said Konstantin Guericke, vice president of marketing for the Palo Alto-based company. "Recommendations based on personal connections are important." Service listings represent the second marketplace Linkedin is opening for the 7.7 million people using its business social network to find recommended providers. Initially the service is in English only and targetted at the U.S. market, but the company has plans to eventually expand overseas.


  • Linkedin does not claim to be creating a wholesale replacement for the Yellow Pages or their online equivalent, only listings in a select set of categories in which relationships count and friends rate businesses, Guericke said. "We are in the very beginning of building this marketplace. It's the sections of the Yellow Pages people use most," he said. In the case of Linkedin 's directory of service providers, users can search narrowly for services recommended by friends, or they can widen their search to friends of friends. Failing that, a global search capability is offered to allow users to search across the full Linkedin network.


  • Making the system work will depend on whether Linkedin users bother to write recommendations for other businesses, building on an existing feature within Linkedin that encourages colleagues to recommend other colleagues. It also could draw in new users. Most Linkedin members currently are executives, professionals, sales people and other office workers. The new directory could attract trade workers.


  • The service provider directory is designed so that businesses can go online and list their services without having to remain online -- encouraging non-computer, blue-collar service providers to join Linkedin . About 7.7 million people worldwide had signed up for Linkedin by September, up around 54 percent from 5 million users in March. Revenue is growing twice as fast as members, Guericke said. "We see this growth in free members as the engine that runs the business, he said. "We are building different marketplaces on top of that."





Marketing strategy


  • Up to now, it has be word of mouth (viral) marketing. But,that is about to change...hired Atomic PR after a competitive pitch among four finalists.;...Keith Rabois, Linkedin 's VP of business and corporate development, said the company will be launching an official PR campaign this month and will look to Atomic to get out a message about the networking site's worth to business professionals. Details of the campaign are yet to be finalized, but Rabois said that some of it may be eventdriven work. In the final rounds of the pitch for Linked In, Atomic went up against Shift Communications, Racepoint Group, and Cohn & Wolfe





  • (March 2006) membership is diverse: 1.8 million members are in Europe and over half a million in Asia


  • U.S. Internet business network Linkedin Ltd plans to expand in Germany, the company said on October 24, 2006.


  • Linkedin co-founder, Konstantin Guericke, said the company's initial step will be to launch a German version of its services.


  • The company currently has 7.8 million users worldwide, 250,000 of whom are based in Germany and another three million across Europe.


  • Linkedin 's services are free of charge, while its paid premium accounts cost between $300 (239 euro) and $5,000 (3,983 euro) a year.


  • Through Linkedin , users create a profile in which they make a summary of their professional accomplishments, and these can be viewed by former colleagues, as well as potential clients and partners. Users also can add more connections by inviting trusted contacts to join. The network consists of the users' connections, plus their corresponding connections, thus creating a chain of thousands of members.


  • Linkedin participates in the EU Safe Harbor Privacy Framework.


Recently, corporate-oriented online service engine Openbc, with 1.5 million users worldwide, has also begun operations in Germany. Linkedin 's rival offers premium membership priced at 5.95 euro ($7.46) per month.





  • Linkedin is likely to face serious competition soon, as Hoovers Connect expects to open its own business-networking social site.


  • There is competition--Spoke, Ryze, and newcomer Hoover's Connect


  • Germany-based openBC, also boasting a global registration of 1.45 million members, expects revenue to hit 10 million euros (US$12.9 million).


  • A number of local Websites have already emerged in China, with leading players like wealink.com, linkist.com and tianji.com, while openBC has also opened its Chinese site xing.com, trying to take grab a slice in the world's second-largest Internet market where more than 20 million people are doing business online. "What we do is to create an online copy of the traditional way to build traditional business relationships, where people can look for job vacancies and make friends, who could become their future suppliers or buyers," said Song Xinyu, general manager of openBC China division. To complement their online services, openBC also organizes offline salons and meetings for its members, sometimes organized by their members spontaneously. The biggest meeting in Shanghai recently attracted 350 people. Zou Ling, chief executive officer of Wealink, stresses the function of providing an online management of contacts, which can be automatically updated when users' information changes as people within one's circle of trust share his or her information. "It's like the businessmen's bank of interpersonal connections, which is their most valuable asset in career-building," said Zou. , referring to the extended connections. as "interests" from the "deposit" of their bridging between strangers and their profiles. Shaun Rein, managing director of Shanghai-based China Market Research Group that helps foreign companies do business in China, agrees. "It has helped me bring friends together to cooperate from Europe and Asia - I was the middleman in these deals," said Rein, user of linkedin.com, a social networking site. He said by getting introductions from mutual friends, linkedin has expanded his social network because there is a higher degree of trust from the people within the community.



other sites

Linkedin is Atomic's most recent account win in a growing portfolio of Web 2.0 clients, which includes:


-- Photobucket ( www.photobucket.com ) - the world's largest online personal media site that enables users to manage and share their digital lives, and delivers billions of images and videos across nearly 250,000 different Web sites every day. An additional 7 million personal images and videos are uploaded to Photobucket daily.


-- Blurb ( www.blurb.com ) - a creative book publishing service that believes passionately in the power of books: making, reading, sharing, and selling them. Blurb's populist publishing service is simple and smart enough to make anyone an author.


-- Flock ( www.flock.com ) - an innovative social Web browser; based on Firefox, that is fundamentally evolving the browser experience, bringing a refreshing new approach to how people use and participate on the Web. Flock simplifies social and web-based applications by bringing them one step closer to the user and integrating them into the browser.


-- hi5 ( www.hi5.com ) - the world's second largest social networking service, with over 60 million members internationally, and more than 18 million unique monthly visitors.



Ecademy.com and Doostang.com



-- Networking sites aimed at the working crowd, like LinkedIn, Spoke and Jigsaw, have failed to draw a fraction of the number of users that go to MySpace or Facebook, analysts said, because they are not yet easy or useful enough to improve workers' performance.


-- Hoover's, a business research unit of Dun & Bradstreet, and Visible Path, a technology company in Foster City, California, hope to change that with the introduction of a free service called Hoovers Connect. It is intended to offer visitors to Hoovers.com the ability to mine their networks to find helpful connections with prospective clients or business partners.





great article about Linkedin - worth reading

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