As a semi-regular user of LinkedIn since 2003, I’ve gone back and forth on the overall effectiveness of the service.
While the site was a revelation in professional networking when it launched nearly a decade ago, there remains a lot of spammy connection requests. Worse yet, what to do when a contact you are not thrilled about asks you to write a testimonial?
Although LinkedIn, which has just been updated for iPad compatibility, doesn’t eradicate the imperfections of the service, it is a great tool to showcase the thoughts and accomplishments of those in your network that take it seriously. In the hours since it came out, I’m finding myself reading articles and comments shared by my connections in ways either not possible (or very accessible) via the site or smaller-screen iPhone and Android apps.
Presumably inspired by Flipboard (where it has a key presence), the LinkedIn functions best as a social magazine on the iPad. The design is simple and elegant, greeting members with three options on the home screen. Front and center is an icon – which by now should be your professional headshot! – that gives immediate access to your account information. Learn who has viewed your profile in recent days, get suggestions of relevant contacts, and see a display of all your recent activity and contacts. Also available on the homescreen is a clean inbox interface, and – and this is where it gets really interesting – a section that displays all recent updates in Flipboard-like form.
The magic of the LinkedIn on the iPad is how it integrates content shared by your connections with the ability to map common relationships with the sender in ways not possible via Flipboard, the web or smartphone applications. See an article pertinent to your industry shared by an old college buddy, and realize that the dude you used to share keg-stands with is now a first degree connection of one of your most desired prospects.
That’s right, only hours into tapping away at the LinkedIn on the iPad, the world today seems even smaller. This will be part of my daily iPad app diet, and stay tuned for a follow-up after a few weeks of regular use.