Well, the internet business sharks that hunt in packs have been circling for some time, and today, they finally got a small chunk of my flesh. I had successfully avoided joining LinkedIn until now, as I truly felt it was just another unnecessary form of work, like Twitter. I mean, if LinkedIn had anything to do with a Slinky, or the Missing Link, I could easily justify whiling away the hours, but spending time purely for managing business connections? On my own dime? Bah, humbug!
However, in the interest of both trying something new, and of completing the only bit of mandatory homework given in my Internet Marketing Seminar last week, I figured I could just nibble on some cheese, interspersed with a little appropriately paired tea, wine and chocolate, while I bit the proverbial bullet. Well, it did help to make it somewhat more of an appetizing experience, at least.
It is pretty amazing when you think about how simple they really make it for you nowadays, especially when you are somewhat of a late adopter of a particular platform. I mean, in just a few clicks, LinkedIn was able to dig through my personal email contacts and connect me with pretty much everyone I (already) know and (already) keep in contact with. And that, my friends, was the end of the easy peasy part.
The next step brought with it the tedium of creating my own personal profile that I will hereinafter be required to keep quasi-current for the rest of my working days. It is clearly much more important than any other profile I have anywhere else, as we learned last week that an entire group of around 500 engineers were hired strictly from LinkedIn on relatively short notice, and that the recruiter got a big time promotion based on the success of the project, and the quality of the candidates… blah blah blah. For someone with a less than stellar recall ability, such as myself, dredging up pertinent bits of my resume from memory is paramount to winning a gold medal in the 100 meter dash at the summer Olympics. In short, it just ain’t gonna happen. So, I dug up a recent-ish version of my CV from 2009, and pulled out some highlights from that. Some people are just so finicky about dates and company names and things… best to at least give the impression of a concerted effort in this area.
Next, I trawled through some of my eager beaver friends’ profiles who had already connected with me to find Groups that I should probably also join, only to be surprised that LinkedIn caps you from adding any more than about 10 at a time, until my membership in these initial Groups has been approved. That’s so much more shi-shi-foo-foo than Facebook, who lets you Like and join just about everything. I mean, I don’t really want to join those Groups that badly, if at all, but it seemed like the thing to do somehow… Argh!! I had really had just about enough at this point, so I drew the line at requesting any Recommendations. That is something that I can do over the next little while, but it seemed like overkill on my first day. Because I’m sure I’ll remember to ask for those later… right? Maybe? Possibly? Sigh.
Finally, the ultimate time waster came from scrolling through countless inappropriate photos of myself to find one that was halfway decent (i.e., both of my eyes were open) as long as I could crop the wine out of my hand to make the image look respectable and business worthy enough to upload. Then again, the people who do really know me might not recognize me… But I suppose they can always contact me by email or on Facebook.
And voilà, I am now officially part of a LinkedIn community of more than 1.5 million professionals, and I have to say, that it did feel a whole lot like work. In other news, I also joined a bunch of fun groups on MeetUp in the Toronto area today, mainly because they seemed ever so much more relevant to my current lifestyle choice of un-work, and, after all, life is about balance.