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How to Take Advantage of Latest LinkedIn Updates

November 22, 2009

I haven’t spent a lot of time in LinkedIn lately (finally updated some info today), but some changes LinkedIn released over the past couple of weeks caught my attention.  First, LinkedIn now allows your Twitter status updates to appear in the LinkedIn status.  This is part of a LinkedIn-Twitter agreement.  Twitter’s co-founder, Biz Stone and LinkedIn’s co-founder, Reid Hoffman discuss the value of the integration in this video, which also shows how you can activate the integration:

I’d highly recommend checking the box, “share only tweets that contain #in” (note, they’ve also added the hashtag #li since this video was made).  This is similar to the Selective Twitter Status within Facebook (which I use when I’m in the Twitter web app or other app that doesn’t allow sychning of Twitter status with Facebook).  Unlike Facebook, however, your audience within LinkedIn is primarily a professional audience, and more than likely won’t appreciate seeing all your Twitter updates, especially if you’ve got the weekly email updates turned on, which will show a compiled list of all your updates.  If you turn on the “#li” capability, only the updates within Twitter given the hastag #li will appear within LinkeIn, thus allowing you to control what status updates will appear.  This works best for me since I’d prefer just to send only professional networking/work-related updates to LinkedIn and can do so by using #li within Twitter for those updates.  Certainly, there’s the school of thought advocating all updates from Twitter going to LinkedIn– the question really comes down to what you’re more comfortable with.  Over time, I may change my preference on this, but for now I’d rather start off selectively Twittering to LinkedIn.

As a side note, you may want to check out Ping.fm, which allows you to update all of your social media status’ (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Brightkite, Yammer, etc.) all at once or just selected ones.  (I used to use Hello Txt but have found Ping.fm have wider coverage and to be a bit more user-friendly, especially on the iPhone web browser).

LinkedIn also re-did their user-interface.  Apparently, this hasn’t gone out to the general public yet according to the LinkedIn blog post (I’m not sure why I got the update and other did not), so I included a screenshot below so you could see it.

New UI for LinkedIn

The biggest change is in the navigation, which has moved from the left to the top.  Overall, I like it compared to the old UI, as it gives it a much cleaner look.  It also gives much deeper levels of navigation to sub-categories of the main category items, which was limited in the old UI.

Another area where there was a noticeable change is in your Profile (see below).  The side navigation is gone (again, at the top), which helps make it appear cleaner.  The biggest change, however, is more info in your profile appearing above the fold, which is important when someone is cruising your profile.

LinkedIn profile UI changes

Finally, another update worth looking at in LinkedIn (okay, it’s not that new, but it did happen within the past few months, but didn’t get a lot of publicity), is the LinkedIn-Slideshare synch.  I’m a big fan of SlideShare, especially for my job, where I’m doing a lot of presentations that I like to share, which I share on SlideShare.  It makes a ton of sense to synch those to LinkedIn, especially since the presentations are mainly professional content– content pefect for my professional network on LinkedIn.   It’s easy to install the synch while in LinkedIn (you have to have a SlideShare account obviously, which the synch will prompt you to create if you don’t have one already.  If you don’t have a SlideShare account, I’d highly recommend adding content before you synch or turn off the utility until you do– you want content to actually appear in your LinkedIn profile and not have anything appear).  Once installed, I’d recommend having the SlideShare utility (which will display your latest three SlideShare presentations), display on your profile page (displaying on your home page is a personal preference), which will allow anyone who views your profile to see your content and increasing your “value-add” to your network.  One major downside of LinkedIn (which hopefully they’ll be addressing soon), is that you don’t have control over where the SlideShare utility (or any other) will appear on your profile.  It could end up buried deep in your profile, requiring the user to scroll.  Ideally, you could determine where the utility would appear– SlideShare clearly is one you’d want to show up prominently.

There are definitely other utilities I’d recommend having in your profile (WordPress, Amazon, etc.)– maybe a topic for a future post?…In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the UI changes, Twitter-LinkedIn synch and SlideShare-LinkedIn synch.

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