Learning to network

January 25, 2007

Networking profiles – the cigarette cards of the 21st Century?

Filed under: Manage my network, Social Media — Arthur M. Gallagher @ 1:13 am

Intrigued by what I saw on a couple of Jobster profiles, I was happy to find out a little more. They seemed quite different to what I have seen on LinkedIn, more focussed on fun ideas and web 2.0 hot topics like tag clouds and instant visibility of your connections. This was quite a contrast from the crisp practicality of core business features in LinkedIn, which somehow seemed less vibrant. This is why I was interested when I came across Gautam Ghosh’s article Comparing Linkedin and Jobster profiles.

This post demonstrates quite clearly some key differences in what you can do with profiles in each but it does have the provocative conclusion “why not create one in both”. This is an idea that troubles me slightly, as I know I have not yet found time to develop my Xing (OpenBC) profile, so I’m not sure why I am considering Jobster too. Still, as commented on Gautam’s post, you cannot tell the true value of a networking profile based pure on looks and content – until you have used it and gained value from it, or from connections you find, or who find you, its futile to argue which is the best.

This is starting to look almost like networking profiles are a new form of trading cards – everybody is keen to get as many different ones as they can, and start furiously exchanging them with people they know, hoping one day to have the whole book filled in. I’m not sure that this is reasonable however, as wikipedia gives a list of nearly a hundred social networking services. That’s way too many to be practicable, and its no wonder that the pundits have been earmarking this as the year of the shakedown in the social networking market. But how to back a winner at this stage in the race??

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