Since you can never have enough social media in your life, yesterday I signed up for a LinkedIn account.
Actually it wasn't exactly my idea. The communications director at work suggested it. Because some parents are using LinkedIn for preschool referrals, she wants to expand the center's presence on the site. I was able to help by signing up for an account and "connecting" to my employer.
You don't know what LinkedIn is? It's a business-oriented social networking site which has more than 70 million registered users. It allows you to keep in contact with present and former workmates while helping you to build a professional network. Tony's used the site for quite some time. As a matter of fact, because he became a member of employee alumni groups for companies where he used to work, he's been able to reconnect with some coworkers he'd lost contact with.
The site lets you maintain contact details for people you know, which are called Connections. A contact network is built up based on the concept of of "six degrees of separation". Your network consists of your direct connections, the connections of each of their connections (second-degree connections) and the connections of second-degree connections (third-degree connections). You can use the information to gain an introduction to someone through a mutual contact.
Signing up for LinkedIn was VERY easy. After my account was opened, I spent a bit of time working on my profile; education and employment information. I then allowed the site to search my email contacts, and sent invitations to all the people who were already LinkedIn members. Less than 24 hours later I had 9 Connections. They ranged from Web developers to writers to business owners. In theory, those 9 Connections could link me to more than 50,000 professionals.
At this point I don't think I'll be an extremely active LinkedIn user. I'll make sure my profile stays up to date, and respond to any requests that are sent to me. However, things may change in the future, so it's probably good that I'm now LinkedIn.