Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Making LinkedIn useful

I've been on LinkedIn for years (an early adopter). For my undergrad alumni we created a group that now has 600 people connected through it.

However, with over a thousand personal contacts on LinkedIn, and access to an internal alumni network, I've yet to see value in visiting the website.

The LinkedIn Dashboard: How come no one has heard of it ?

However, I did discover something very useful. How come no one knows the LinkedIn Outlook toolbar.

1. The "Grab" feature allows me to transfer anyone's signature into Outlook Contacts. This is the "killer app" of LinkedIn.

2. The dashboard allows me to get personal email IDs and synch up so I always have updated information after they leave their organizations.

3. The dashboard searches through my Outlook email and offers to create new contacts for recently emailed who are not in my contacts.

4. Any changes to my LinkedIn contacts are available for synching into my Outlook calendar. This is really useful because it allows me to track people who have moved or gotten promoted.

Make LinkedIn Useful: Please upgrading it to Web 2.0
LinkedIn is showing signs of age. Here's my proposal to LinkedIn to "upgrade" itself to a post-Facebook world.

  1. Let people type in search words (e.g. venture capital, panel or or wireless) and when there's "Google News" related to these people, let it show up in the dashboard
  2. Let people in your network follow you (Twitter-like)
  3. Find a way to let people broadcast what they're doing (Faceb00k-like)
  4. Actively track and provide newsfeeds on people (ZoomInfo-like)
  5. Turn the Grab into an active search. If you find anything in email that looks like a signature, give the user an option to put it into Outlook
These will make our lives a little better. Please forward this link to them folks there.


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