LinkedIn adds Apps….and relevance

Let me say this right up front: LinkedIn is a solid platform, and I’m a member of the site. I keep my profile updated, I happily forward connection requests, and I follow Mario’s updates. That said, I don’t consider myself a “user” of the site. I don’t visit unless I’m responding to something, and rarely do I think to open up LinkedIn to see what’s new.

Fortunately, that may have all changed. LinkedIn has jumped on the App Platform bandwagon, announcing that you can use add-on applications, similar to Facebook, to do more with the site.

By jove, I think they’ve got it!

With this addition, LinkedIn has created relevance in a way that other sites and app platform attempts haven’t. TripIt and Dopplr are great sites, but the idea of creating yet another social networking profile in order to share things like where my contacts are traveling was just a whip. Using Facebook to connect to business contacts was more than a little uncomfortable. And as mentioned, using (rather than “maintaining) LinkedIn was largely fruitless.

But being able to put that very strong business network to work automatically through add-on apps is impressive indeed. Here’s a few examples that I get excited about, just from the announcement below:

  • Certainly the LinkedIn Answers was helpful at times, but never really seemed to sing. Using the Huddle app for private workspaces make it much more interesting.
  • Maintaining my Dopplr account has always been a non-starter for me. There never has been a truly compelling reason to do so, and recreating my network on Dopplr is just painful. Tapping in that type of functionality via my existing (and robust) LinkedIn network and TripIt is pretty awesome.
  • Using a tie-in with Six Apart to be able to skim blog posts from contacts based on my network could yield some truly interesting business opportunities.

This is an exciting development, and I’m looking forward to seeing it in action.
For the official word, here’s the LinkedIn announcement:

Today we’re announcing many more ways to interact with your network on LinkedIn. Whether it’s a new way to create projects and collaborate, share information, customize your profile, or gain key insights, the new LinkedIn Applications deliver.

Click here and you’ll be able to add applications that enable you to:

Work collaboratively with your network.

  • Box on LinkedIn: Share files and collaborate with your network.
  • Huddle on LinkedIn: Private workspaces to collaborate with your network on projects.

Share information and keep up to date with your network.

  • Amazon on LinkedIn: Discover what your network is reading.
  • TripIt on LinkedIn: See where your network is traveling.
  • SixApart on LinkedIn: Stay up to date with your network’s latest blog posts.

Present yourself and your work in new ways.

  • Google Docs on LinkedIn: Embed a presentation on your profile.
  • SlideShare on LinkedIn: Share, view and comment on presentations from your network.
  • WordPress on LinkedIn: Promote your blog and latest posts.

Gain key insights that will make you more effective.

  • Company Buzz by LinkedIn: See what people are saying about your company.

Get started by clicking here to visit the Application Directory and add any of the applications listed above.

Regards,
The LinkedIn Team