Getting the most from LinkedIn

As I’ve started exploring social media a bit more seriously recently, I’ve taken a fresh look at LinkedIn.  Since I first signed up, more and more people I know have started using LinkedIn as well – or at least they’ve signed up.  I’ve also reconnected with a few folks from way back, so that’s been nice.  But I’m still trying to figure out exactly how to make it work for me.

Tony Karrer has given the question quite a bit of thought and has some good suggestions in his post LinkedIn Connection Approach Rethought.  In this post, he looks at his use of LinkedIn using Christian Mayaud’s ideas on Right Sizing your PANs, FANs, and CANs. *  Interestingly, what Tony found is that the LinkedIn recommended approach of only connecting with FANs and CANs really limits the value of LinkedIn. The true value of LinkedIn, at least for Tony, is in building his PANs.

As I described to Lilia in an interview with her last summer, I got to know quite a few people in the KM field through blogging.  However, with few exceptions I didn’t feel that I knew them well enough to request a connection in LinkedIn.  Reading the summary of my interview and Lilia’s collected thoughts on KM blogs and networking in general have “loosened” me up a bit, so that I am connecting with more “casual acquaintances” than before.  (In fact, I finally connected with Lilia just this week!)

Check out this Common Craft video for an example of a practical use of LinkedIn; thanks to Matt Homann for the link to the video.