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Alternative title: Are Facebook and LinkedIn the largest Twitter aggregators?
Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter all provide streams of content – the content can either be created on the service or the content can be posted automatically from outside sources – typically either RSS feeds or from one of these services to another. Both Facebook and LinkedIn have content outside of the stream while Twitter is completely based on the content stream.
What I’ve noticed more and more over the past few months is that the stream on both Facebook and LinkedIn is dominated by Twitter updates. And since I follow basically the same set of people on all 3 services, I see the same update over and over again. I understand that everyone is different but I have to assume that for many people, their overlap is somewhat similar.
This overlap of content creates several issues – I’ve discussed a few of them in years past when FriendFeed was still an active service.
The biggest issue I see with the mass sending of content updates to every possible social network is: where to comment to get a reaction from the status creator. As a basic example, if you look below, Anil Dash has posted an update on Twitter which was sucked into Facebook. Three people have commented on Anil’s content. Will Anil respond to these comments? Does he even know that these comments have been posted? And do the people commenting understand that Anil may not even know that these comments exist? While it might not be important for a typical status update, if I ask a question seeking help, then it is important that I see the replies.
There is always talk that some updates belong on Twitter, some on Facebook and some on LI. But the truth is that it seems like people just want to pass along their content to whatever service will take it (most of you know my view is that 99% of updates are not needed). I am hoping that in 2012 both Facebook and LinkedIn will offer the option to turn off third-party aggregation. Such an option would instantly clean up my streams on all three services. The downside from the company perspective is that they would lose the updates that are so important for monetization.
The big chatter this morning around business networking service LinkedIn is that they will go public in 2011. Reuters has a full recap of their conversation with three sources that suggest the IPO will arrive this year.
Unfortunately LinkedIn has been displaying the following error message for the last 30+ minutes, “Page Not Found — The page you requested is no longer available, or cannot be found.” This is the popular 404 error code (and it’s also the area code for Atlanta!). Some of the pages do appear to work although more and more I am finding the 404 error on page refreshes.
Update: something makes me think a small percentage of their servers are having some issues. I find on some loads everything works great, others I get errors including a Fatal Error when accessing their help site.
Update: 1:45pm Eastern – we are back in action – go friend people and share all the same stuff you share on Twitter!
My profile still appears to load correctly but clicking to LinkedIn provides the 404 error message.
LinkedIn is typically a rock-solid service so I am not sure if the downtime is related to traffic from the IPO discussions or if there are other technical issues going on as well. I have emailed LinkedIn and will update this post if I hear back regarding why the service is providing a 404 not found error message.
Please report in if LinkedIn is broken where you are location – include your location if you provide a comment.
By now you have probably read that this past weekend blog publisher Gawker’s user database was hacked. If you haven’t read about the issues, the Next Web blog has been covering the events in detailed fashion.
This morning I received about a dozen emails (because I have multiple emails listed in LI) from LinkedIn with the following message, “…In order to ensure that you continue to have the best experience using LinkedIn, we are constantly monitoring our site to make sure your account information is safe. We have recently disabled your account for security reasons…” The message goes on to tell me how to reset my password.
Many people are noting on Twitter that they too have received the same messages from LinkedIn. Most are wondering if the Gawker issue is related to these emails.
Considering the mass amount of people receiving these security password emails from LinkedIn, it’d be great to get an official comment from LinkedIn on their blog regarding what’s going on. Were there attempts to use the data or is LinkedIn just being proactive?
Update: We’ve received the official comment from LinkedIn as we hoped, “sorry for the inconvenience, as a proactive measure we’ve reached out to users potentially affected by the gawker breach regarding password”.
An interesting bit – appears at least a few people on Twitter are going back to LinkedIn for the first time in a long time due to these password reset emails. I wonder if LinkedIn will see a traffic bump today — good job to LinkedIn for being proactive.
Business networking service LinkedIn is currently down while the team finalizes the upgrades to their new data center in Los Angeles. LinkedIn’s Stefan Apitz has posted about the maintenance window regarding the data center upgrades on the LinkedIn blog. Chicago tech blogger Alex Wilhelm posted earlier today about the data center upgrade.
Based on search results on Twitter and unlike outages with microblog service Tumblr, LinkedIn users appear to be calm regarding the downtime.
From their blog post regarding the maintenance period, “Today LinkedIn will be offline for approximately 6 hours, starting 5PM Pacific, to help accommodate the cutover, synchronization and testing. We’ve chosen the lowest traffic day on a weekend, so this will impact the least number of users. We do understand how essential LinkedIn is to many of our users, and for those of you working over the weekend, we apologize in advance for the inconvenience this causes.”
Interestingly, I found out about the data center upgrades by clicking on an ad on Facebook. The ad includes an image (displayed below) and the following text, “Hire Me for Marketing! I am smart, funny and motivated to do a great job! I have 7+ years of marketing communications experience. Click for my LinkedIn.” I clicked and got the downtime message – I never saw her profile but I did, sadly, cost her a click!
Social business networking service LinkedIn appears to be down. We have received several reports from around the world with users that can’t access their profiles or the site in general. When I load LinkedIn, half of the time I get nothing and the other half I get the following error message:
Sorry, we were unable to display this page.
We are working hard to restore service as quickly as possible. Please wait a few moments and try hitting the reload button. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Please remain calm during this brief outage – use the time to update Facebook, Twitter, mow the grass, wash the car, etc.
While we wait for the service to resume, check out our LinkedIn Guide.
Please report in if LinkedIn is down where you are located.
Update 4:38pm Eastern – It appears LinkedIn is back up and running – feel free to update that resume or post your twitter-style updates once again.
A good friend of mine asked me for some tips on how to use LinkedIn. I sent him a long email and figure that I should share my thoughts on this with all of you. I’m not an investor in LinkedIn, but think it’s a great service. Here’s the scoop.
Why you should use LinkedIn:
- The service allows you to see who your contacts know – something that is virtually impossible to do sufficiently through normal social interactions. LinkedIn takes the coincidence out of networking.
- It enables you to passively keep up to date contact information for all of your contacts.
- It facilitates introductions through your broader network.
- It enables people to find you based upon your background and who you know.
- It is a professional network that excludes unnecessary personal information.
Why You Should Expand Your LinkedIn Network
I find that a lot of people define ‘using’ LinkedIn as having a profile, but not a lot of connections. As a result, I think it’s worth pointing out that the more you expand your network the more valuable the service will be for you.
As you add more contacts:
- You will have a larger database of people to search through when you are looking for a contact. When you search for a person or a background you can only see contacts in your three degrees or contacts – more contacts means more people in your searchable pool.
- More people will be able to find you when they search for someone with your background.
LinkedIn Best Practices
Here’s my short list of LinkedIn best practices (and how you do them):
- Customize your LinkedIn profile page URL name. Go to ‘edit my profile’ in your LinkedIn account and click on ‘edit’ next to ‘Public Profile’ a little way down the page.
- Add your LinkedIn profile page to your email signature. For gmail click on ‘settings’ in the upper right hand corner and in the text box half way down the page labeled ‘signature’ enter a custom signature including your new Public Profile URL.
- Connect with your existing contacts. Click on ‘add connections’ on the left side of the screen and follow the process of letting LinkedIn scan your gmail, outlook or other contact lists. By doing so you will be able to invite your contacts to connect using the very easy process provided on the site. Note that you will not automatically invite everyone in your gmail or outlook contact list.
- Use the Browser Toolbar. The most important feature of the browser toolbar is that it adds a LinkedIn icon next to email addresses in your gmail. This icon enables you to see a LinkedIn summary (job title, position in your network, number of contacts, etc) of any person who emails you. It also enables you to invite people to LinkedIn from your gmail account – making it easier to connect with people.
- Use the Outlook Toolbar. This application integrates into your outlook as is useful in a few ways. First, it adds a LinkedIn icon that is similar to the one described in the browser toolbar. Second, it enables you to update your outlook contacts based upon changes that people make to their LinkedIn profiles – keeping your contacts up to date.
- Add a picture. It’s always helpful for other people to be able to associate your face with your background, making it easier for people to introduce themselves at social events.
Standard for connecting. When I first started using LinkedIn I viewed a connection as an endorsement. I no longer see it that way, because I realized that my connections do not have direct access to each other – I have to approve introductions. At this point, I am willing to connect with anyone with which I would normally exchange contact information (e.g., a business card).
Appropriate use of the name field. Some folks insert additional information into the name field on their profile. The most often additions are a title or an email address. I understand that they do this because in some forms of search on the site the name field is the only thing that shows up. However, I don’t like it. Not only does it seem aggressive in general, but also it screws up their contact information for everyone that uses the outlook toolbar.
It’s OK not to forward an intro: People can request that you introduce them to someone else in your network. While it’s a bit awkward to say ‘no’, I think that it’s appropriate to do so if it makes you uncomfortable.
This column was provided by Mark Davis, the author of Get Venture, a column designed to help entrepreneurs raise venture capital. In addition to his column, Mark is active in the venture community as an entrepreneur, advisor and venture capitalist. He currently works at DFJ Gotham Ventures, a leading early-stage IT venture capital fund based in NYC. Mark has also setup a variety of regional venture communities on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn community evangelist Mario Sundar has posted a chart from Nielsen showing the top social networks and their growth over the past year (March-March). I’ve embedded the chart below. The analysis is based on U.S. home and work traffic and does not include international traffic.
LinkedIn shows growth at 319% while Facebook only grew 98% and MySpace barely grew at 9%. I’d suggest that Facebook and MySpace have the market nearly tapped so their growth will be slower than LinkedIn. Buzznet also grew nicely at 49%.
A year ago the Facebook fans claimed LinkedIn was dead and that Facebook would replace LinkedIn as the business networking tool of choice. I haven’t seen that happen and if anything, I’ve seen more LinkedIn requests than Facebook requests lately. Do you believe Facebook will still replace LinkedIn as the business social network?
Update: Dave Barger said something I think is worth repeating, "More people wokeup to the fact the LinkedIn wasn’t just for JobHunters than Facebook was not just for College kids."
Drama 2.0 also wonders Are the Most LinkedIn Really LinkedOut?