LinkedIn Applications – Love Them or Hate Them?

November 3rd, 2008 | by Jason Alba |

LinkedIn finally announced their Applications – which allows you to make LinkedIn more functional.  It has been a loooooooooooooooooooooong time coming, as they announced their API’s quite a while ago – June 26, 2007 (this allows other companies, outside of LinkedIn, to tap into or work with LinkedIn – more on that later).

Based on my speaking throughout the country and abroad, I know that some people will say:

Awesome! It’s about time LinkedIn is more social!  Now it’s not going to be so boring, and it can be more like Facebook!

Others are going to say:

Yuck! Yuck! Yuck! This is a professional environment and we don’t want all that social crap!  We don’t want Facebook and MySpace, we want LinkedIn!

I’m on the fence.  On the one hand, it’s really great to see this development, and progress with the APIs.  I wish I could get some API love, but LinkedIn is being very cautious about who they partner with, and I haven’t been invited in yet.  With their funding from SAP, I’m wondering if a LinkedIn/JibberJobber partnership would ever make sense (for me, YES, for them, I kind of doubt it).

As far as what it does for a Profile, well, I think this can be great if done well, and if done wrong it can make a Profile super cluttered with garbage.  I added the slideshare application because I have three slideshare shows up, and they are all onbrand with my business.  I also added the blog application (not wordpress, since I don’t use wordpress.com (I use wordpress.org)), and now you can see my blog posts on my profile.  These should also always be onbrand.

Right now the slideshows and blog posts show up RIGHT AFTER my summary, which I’m guessing they’ll allow me to control later.

Cool for me… but how many of you have blog posts or slideshows to show, that will help make your Profile more compelling?

Just like we see some lame Profile pictures, I’m sure we’ll see some lame slideshows, and some posts about what people ate for breakfast (offbrand posts) on their Profiles.

Right now I think my position is COOL, but be careful.

What do you think?  What have you added, and do you like it?

  1. 19 Responses to “LinkedIn Applications – Love Them or Hate Them?”

  2. By Thom Allen on Nov 3, 2008 | Reply

    Other than maybe the WordPress application, none of the others really excite me. Most of the applications aren’t designed to connect people or start conversations.

    So I’m not really a hater, just not really a lover.

  3. By Jacob from JobMob on Nov 3, 2008 | Reply

    I know that LinkedIn is catching a lot of flak for being so late to the Apps game, but I don’t mind. I’m happy that the first crop is easy to use (when they work) and give people many ways to show achievements and success on their profiles.

    I also dashed out my own review last week:
    First Review: Using LinkedIn Applications to Show Professional Job Success

  4. By Jason Alba on Nov 3, 2008 | Reply

    Thom, afaik the wordpress application only works if you blog on wordpress.com, … that’s why I loaded the Blog Link application which apparently pulls from anywhere…. and the irony is, it’s powered by TypePad :p

  5. By Jason Alba on Nov 3, 2008 | Reply

    @Jacob, funny, “when they work” is something I didn’t talk about… when I first tried Applications (the first day they came out) I couldn’t get anything to work… but so far the two I’ve loaded have been fine. It will be interesting to see how reliable the Apps are, and if LinkedIn drops the hammer on any of them that aren’t performing well (uptime, etc.)

  6. By Alison on Nov 3, 2008 | Reply

    I do like the Blog Link application (the rest don’t interest me much), but it seems to hang up as often as it loads, at least for me.

  7. By Jason Alba on Nov 3, 2008 | Reply

    @Alison – ah, another issue. When I talk about blogs, I usually try to encourage people to NOT put widgets on their blogs because (a) they add too much noise, and (b) they can really slow down the load time of a site.

    I didn’t think about that with my LinkedIn Profile… if this slows down the download time for my Profile that will be a problem!

  8. By Jacob from JobMob on Nov 3, 2008 | Reply

    I sure hope for LinkedIn’s sake that they’re tracking partner uptime although I’m betting that in the initial rush, the bottleneck was LinkedIn’s infrastructure. It was either everything up or everything down on the 29th. I’m still seeing snags from time to time but all in all the apps are working. So I’m in the middle of finishing my review :)

  9. By Kent Blumberg on Nov 3, 2008 | Reply

    So far, I like the blog app. My posts are usually on brand, so it should enhance my profile rather than the opposite. And I found this post by Jason when I loaded up the app, so there you go! I look at LI much more often than I look at bloglines, so perhaps I’ll catch relevant posts more quickly and can better join the conversation.

    We shall see.

  10. By Teena in Toronto on Nov 3, 2008 | Reply

    I got an email about it but haven’t had a chance to read about it yet.

    Tomorrow …

  11. By john harper on Nov 4, 2008 | Reply

    Jason – i don’t see a link to your LinkedIn profile in the post – useful for people who come across the post, but aren’t on LinkedIn yet

  12. By Jason Alba on Nov 4, 2008 | Reply

    good point John, I’m at http://www.linkedin.com/in/jasonalba, but you don’t see my apps unless you are logged in.

  13. By marnix on Nov 5, 2008 | Reply

    I added the slideshare app and the blog app to my profile.
    don’t see the use of the bloglink to my connections blog though, if they have a good blog it will be in my blogreader already.
    Will also look at the huddle app, but I have not figured out yet how to use that personally
    Here is my profile : http://www.linkedin.com/in/marnixcatteeuw

    Marnix

  14. By Lisa Hendrickson on Nov 5, 2008 | Reply

    So far, thrilled with the Word Press application. Other than seeing “somewhat accurate stats” from Linkedin’s home page updates, I get to see how many people are actually scrolling down my profile to see my Word Press and from there, I see who is going directly to my web.

    Bye Bye Blogger. Not needed anymore for me!

    Lisa
    http://www.linkedin.com/in/callthatgirl

  15. By Laura Bergells on Nov 7, 2008 | Reply

    Going through a “now you see it, now you don’t” experience with the apps.

    I added one. Nothing happened.

    The next day, Voila! It was there.

    Added another. Nothing.

    Voila! The next day, it was there!

    After a few days of successfully integrated my blog posts with the BlogLink app — poof!

    Inexplicably, the app is gone.

    LinkedIn may wish to actually test these apps before they release them. What do you say?

  16. By Jason Alba on Nov 7, 2008 | Reply

    Laura, … I’m not too surprised. I would think this will go away after a while, and agree about the testing… we’ll see how it plays out.

  17. By James T. Savidge on Nov 13, 2008 | Reply

    I’ve put the blog app in my profile because my blog is part of my personal “branding”.

    I’m a Smalltalk programmer, my blog focuses on employment for Smalltalk programmers, and I’m also in the process of finding a new programming position for myself. (Hopefully one using Smalltalk.)

    Putting my blog posts inline with my profile is only increasing my “branding”.

    James T. Savidge, Thursday, November 13, 2008

    http://www.linkedin.com/in/jsavidge

  18. By Diana on Nov 18, 2008 | Reply

    As long as the applications stay relevant and non-Facebooky, I don’t mind that they’re there. The only one I’ve installed so far Company Buzz, which I actually really like. Though I would like to see more than just Twitter buzz.

    I’m considering adding the WordPress application for my blog http://www.ustandout.com. Can you pick and choose which entries are linked?

  19. By Sophie Lagace on Nov 18, 2008 | Reply

    I really like the apps to pull blog posts and presentations so far (those are the only ones I’ve tried to date.) After only a few days, I noticed substantially increased interest in my profile. There are many aspects of LinkedIn I would like to see reformed — or disappear — but this is one set of options I would keep.

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