Tuesday, May 23, 2006

LinkedIn Kicks it Up a Notch

Is it just me, or has LinkedIn totally stepped it up over the past few months?

The site is a great case study on harnessing the power of human nature to increase usership.

Every time a user logs in, she can see how many of her contacts have gained new connections. This simple feature makes the user frequent LinkedIn because

1) We're competitive. If so-and-so can add connections, so can I.
2) We follow the crowd. If so-and-so is actively seeking connections, I should be too.
3) We want to be seen. Everytime I add a connection, everyone in my network knows.

We are also insecure. We need to know that we are appreciated and important. LinkedIn gives its users quantifiable means of confirming their "coolness". If a LinkedIn user ever feels a tinge of self-doubt, he can look on his LinkedIn account and see 5, 50 or 500 connections that say he's cool.

We are lazy. LinkedIn's updated UI makes it insanely easy to add connections, solicit endorsements (Big shout to my peeps who gave me LinkedIn props last week!) and subscribe to premium services.

Anyhow, if you're into internet marketing and you haven't analyzed LinkedIn lately, it's worth a look.

(Speaking of LinkedIn, I got an endorsement from NimbleIt.com CEO Jeff Barson last week. In addition to being a great entrepreneur, my man is hilarious. Note: I haven't seen a single episode of Queer Eye, I haven't exercised in months, and my mother says I eat like a vacuum. Everything else in Jeff's endorsement is true.

Jeff is a muscular and powerful man. He would be an asset to any business if only for his keen sense of fashion. It's been rumored that he's TIVOed every episode of Queer Eye. Having seen Jeff at many functions with his hair standing on end, I avow that he chews with his mouth closed. Jeff's sense of humor is legendary, having a reputation for using a high-powered super-soaker to squirt every boss he's worked for in the crotch before important presentations. Work with Jeff and this could be you. (He also pays fast on Ebay.)

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