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The World of LinkedIn: What’s Next?

Who knew that there are 74 job openings for Elvis tribute artists and 1 opening as a “martini whisperer” on LinkedIn?  True confession:  I was (maybe still am) tempted…

Isn’t that a wonderful truth about online networking and sharing sites like this? It is here where we can discover, learn and engage in “virtual watering holes” and “online town squares” that fit our interests.

via LinkedIn Blog Infographic

LinkedIn now has over 100 million members and averaging one new member every second.  Through a very clever infographic, the online networking site celebrates this milestone by giving us  a view into what this networked community is made of…

-          73 of the Fortune 100 with Cisco listed as one of 6 most represented companies

-          56 million members residing outside of the US

-          1 “invest in cheese” group (huh?)

-          17.8 million groups

At Cisco, we are still learning, and like so many companies it is through active participation on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn.  Through these conversations and with tools like Cisco SocialMiner we pick up new knowledge, listen and share.  It’s real-time marketing and it just makes sense for our bottom-line and in allowing us to expand reach beyond where traditional marketing and conversations can take us.

LinkedIn has grown in large part due to its focus – the professional community.  It dovetails nicely with our efforts on Facebook, for example, and is where we can engage with affinity groups, actively recruit, and connect with those in way really is the equivalent of swapping a virtual business card and expanding that connection.  Certainly, the rising knowledge workers of today have a soul-mate in LinkedIn.

And, today I engage in multiple ways both as a part of Cisco and as an individual as do thousands of my peers. Yet, like so many others I wonder how long we can sustain the proliferation of experiences and things.  The post-PC era is upon us. Yet the number of screens that we have is still expanding and we have social sites for our professional friends, sites for our personal/professional friends, etc. This is not a new question and the next wave of innovation in social media will likely be through intelligent aggregation that allows us to traverse across devices and applications in the way we want and that adapts to our interest. Technology will still matter as it will require intelligence, bandwidth and a “playing well with others.”  But, in reality it should increasingly become invisible.

So, congratulations LinkedIn!  What’s next?  I can’t wait.

And, I wonder what  some of you think..  How do you think the way we collaborate and connect will change?  How do you use certain social sharing sites either together or apart?

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