After being involved with the computer industry and Internet for 25 years now (no kidding, I started back when there was an ARPANet and UUCP, and even helped manage the hplabs hub in Palo Alto) I’ve seen a lot of ideas come and go, a lot of brainstorms that fizzled when faced with the harsh reality of actual users and sustained development.
One area that’s seen lots of churn is social and professional networking. From net.singles, the Usenet group later morphed into soc.singles in The Great Usenet Renaming (and, yes, I was part of the “cabal” that came up with the seven primary categories) to Friendster, Orkut, Ryze, and even O’Reilly Connection, lots of smart people have tried to find the magic mix of technology, interface design and fairy dust to create a truly compelling electronic networking venue.
And almost all of them have floundered.
There are a few exceptions, fortunately, including Myspace, which has become the killer place for 20-somethings who love music, and LinkedIn has arisen as the premier venue for professional networking online.
I’m not much into music and I’m definitely not in the 20-something category any more, so Myspace isn’t too appealing, but six months ago I really began to explore the capabilities of LinkedIn. Today I remain impressed with its evolution and the caliber of the people in the network. One way I measure this? So far I haven’t received a single multi-level marketing solicitation or come-on, but I’ve connected with fellow writers, strategy consultants, and entrepreneurs from around the globe.
As a blogger, it seemed natural that I would start blogging about LinkedIn, and sure enough, if you dig through my archives here you’ll find that I have written about LinkedIn with some frequency in the last few months.
Being at the nexus of these two interests is why I was glad when I found the Yahoo Group LinkedIn Bloggers, most ably run by fellow blogger Des Walsh, who works half a world away in Gold Coast, Australia, and blogs at Thinking Home Business.
The group offers a great venue for people who are plugged into LinkedIn and are either involved with blogging or eager to learn more about blogging from their peers. It’s polite, amusing, and remarkably focused on the topics at hand, not dozens of random offshoots that so painfully clutter up other discussion groups in which I participate.
That’s why it is an honor for me to have been asked if I would co-moderate the group with Des earlier this week. I, of course, said yes, and now am able to also see behind the scenes at what a polite, professional group of bloggers, of LinkedIn folk, comprise LinkedIn Bloggers. Were it that all electronic groups were this free of knee-jerk flames and overly sensitive feelings.
And now, let me end with you: if you’ve read this far, I suspect that you are likely an excellent candidate for our group, already almost 150 members strong, and I’d like to invite you to consider joining LinkedinBloggers.