This Online Life

Are you LinkedIn yet?

If that question caused you a momentary cringe, then maybe it's because of a stat released yesterday by eMarketer. LinkedIn membership jumped by 88.9% in 2006 to more than 8 million members. I'm one of them. But I have about as much time to tend to the care and feeding of my LinkedIn brand as I do to fly around in Second Life. What about you?

Job-searching sites should be wary, warned eMarketer, because of the power of the LinkedIn user base for corporations seeking new people and people seeking new corporations.

I don't know.

My first encounter with LinkedIn was back when I took a detour into investment banking and wanted to get out. Because I was employed, and my employer was in an industry that I didn't really want to BE in anymore, the LinkedIn setup yielded a lot of individuals who thought I could possibly finance their next venture.

(This is opposed to another online personal profile I kept when I ran the Career Channel at iVillage and routinely got overtures from Asian and Russian men looking for American wives to finance THEIR next venture - a move to the States.)

Then there's the geography thing.

Living in the tri-state region makes the simple ZIP code designation a tricky hurdle. People seeking people in New York City can miss those who live across the river, because it's a different state -- and pull-down menus don't always appreciate this nuance. So what do you use? The ZIP code where you work? The ZIP code where you live? Who has the time to think about it?

I marvel at friends who go from zero to hundreds or thousands in one fell swoop with a massive blast to invite into their network anyone from anywhere they've ever worked or pretended to work -- and so on, and so on, and so on. I must be too personal. Or perhaps too perfectionist.

Meanwhile, to any of you who have invited me to link back to you, my apologies if you're still waiting. I suspect I'm not the only one who has hit a quick accept, only to get a message that the LinkedIn server is overstimulated and can't take any more at the moment.

Hey, wait a minute. That sounds like me!

Now go post to the blog. What's your REAL opinion of LinkedIn? How does it work for you? Are you already on to something else?

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