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It’s a LinkedIn World after all …. May 19, 2011

Posted by Bob Cook in Financial Planning & Analysis, Profession of Corporate Real Estate.
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The dazzling success of LinkedIn’s IPO today took many by surprise.  Some people might be scratching their heads, saying “Linked Who?”  “Linked What?”  But LinkedIn is no stranger to those of us who have used LinkedIn to connect, learn and interact over the last few years.  Forget Facebook … too many under 25’s, over 65’s, and early retirees with too much time on their hands.  (Do I really want an update on what a “friend” ate for breakfast?)  For business professionals, the place to be is LinkedIn.

I remember my first invitation to “Link-In”.  (Is that the correct verb?  Is it in the dictionary, yet, like “to friend”?)  I must have received that first invite in the early-oughts.  I undoubtedly said to myself “Linked Who?”  “Linked What?”  I left the invite in my in-box for at least a year before I LinkedIn.  Since then, I’ve gotten to know scores of people through the platform.   And I’m flabbergasted by the fact that I’m only three degrees away from over 5,000,000 people (and, can you believe it, only three degrees away … not six degrees away … from Kevin Bacon! – is that really him on LinkedIn?)

For myself and many others, LinkedIn has eclipsed organizations like Corenet Global and IFMA (International Facility Management Association) as the primary vehicle through which people stay in touch.  Those professional organizations have other valid roles … like providing opportunities for face-to-face interaction (because we all need to come out of the cave occasionally) and providing structured education (which Corenet has done phenomenally with its MCR program) … but keeping people in touch in a fast-paced, flat world is probably no longer a valid mission for professional organizations.   These organizations need to mash-up with LinkedIn, let it serve as the day-to-day forum, and not try to compete by firing up their own social networking sites.

In fact, the mash-up is already happening.  There are, by my count, over 40 LinkedIn Groups with the word “Corenet” in their names and over 100 with the acronym “IFMA” in their names (although, to be honest, I didn’t weed out those that might be related to the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association or the Institutional Fecal Matter Alliance).

Yep, LinkedIn is the place to meet.  It’s no longer over golf (does anyone still have time for the links?) … or at a fancy restaurant  (do people still wear cuff links?) … or even at Joe’s (anyone still eat sausage links?).   Nope.  The place to be = LinkedIn.

And, today, on its first day of trading, it’s up 100%.

Full disclosure:  I was not smart enough to buy LNKD this morning.

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Comments»

1. Richard L. Podos - May 19, 2011

Bob:

I couldn’t agree more.

As you know, we’ve used LinkedIn to great effect for broad communications regarding the proposed lease accounting changes, and, most recently, for the 5/3 CoreNet panel in Chicago (thank you again for being a panelist!):

http://www.linkedin.com/groupItem?view=&gid=2178032&type=member&item=53300292&qid=24fd6187-c955-4c8c-aea5-fef0d320e99b&goback=.gmp_2178032

We are still figuring out how to best manage the relationship with, for instance, our activities in CoreNet SPP.

Great tool. I also like how you personally have consistently “linked” between your blog and the LinkedIn groups / discussions.

Regards,
RLP

2. David Mills - May 19, 2011
3. Margy Sweeney - May 20, 2011

As a CRE communications consultant, I get challenged regularly by executives asking if the C-suite and other senior folks are engaged in social media. My answer is always: yes, and LinkedIn is where they are. Thank you for another proof point!
~ Margy Sweeney (CoreNet Global Chicago Chapter and akretecommunications.com)

4. Pauline Mok - May 20, 2011

Right on, Bob! “Social Media @ Workplace” was one of the panel discussion in yesterday CoreNet N. Chapter meeting. It is interesting to notice that the general response in the room referring to social media as FB or their internal communication tool, but not a word on Linkedin. On the professional “social media”, Linkedin is right dead on on setting the bone and foundation to allow people connect and networking.

5. Tom Geiger - May 23, 2011

I agree. I found my current position through LinkedIn. I connected with an old colleague I hadn’t seen in 10 years. I network on LinkedIn every day.

6. Marcus Bowen - May 24, 2011

The issue with LinkedIN is how it supports Groups; A Group can become – in itself – very valuable to a business… by LinkedIN holds all the IP and the ‘keys’ … you may think you are in control of the Group but find yourself locked out … as happened to a colleague….who eventually got back in after 10 days…not explanation from LinkedIN!

So… If you are a Corenet, an IFMA or even a personal Blog, proceed with caution when relying on LinkedIN as part of your business communications/community development plan.

7. Bob Cook - May 24, 2011

The thought that Linked IN could get too powerful… like Microsoft was … and Google and Facebook are … is a valid point. Without a dominanr industry leader, though, I wonder if technologies like PC’s, search, and social networking would have developed as much as they have. I do wonder if Linked In will be seen as a monopolist in a few years.


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