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Professional Networking Sites: Work or Play?

Not a week goes by that someone doesn’t ask us to join a LinkedIn® network.

If you don’t know what we are talking about, LinkedIn® describes itself as “a networking tool that helps you find inside connections and extend your existing network of trusted contacts.” Other sites like Yorz, Ryze and Xing do the same thing.

The focus seems to be professional. As a member you put your work history on line, along with professional recommendations, a description of your current position and of course, your rolodex. Basically it’s a “Six degrees of Kevin Bacon” game—people find you through people they know, or people who know the people they know. And then supposedly everyone makes profitable, professional connections.

However, while we’re flattered to be LinkedIn® all over the world, we’ve never seen a real project come from it.

At times, it kind of feels like a popularity contest. Who’s got the biggest network? We’ll even go so far as to say LinkedIn® seems like the recently heralded FaceBook® with a suit and tie on.

But maybe we’re completely wrong. So we thought we’d ask you.

How have these professional networking sites worked for you? Do you use them actively? Have they created opportunities that have translated into actual work?

As a small company that’s always prospecting for new business, we’d like to know if LinkedIn® deserves a column on our timesheet. Or not.

Yours in work and friendship,

Meredith & Stephanie


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