By Paul Furiga
There’s always been something different about the social network LinkedIn. As a business colleague of mine once sniffed, “LinkedIn is where the adults hang out in social media.”
Maybe so. As a digital immigrant, someone who came to social networking as a convert, LinkedIn is the network that I find myself most often explaining to Gen Yers, those vaunted digital natives who supposedly know everything about social media and networking.
LinkedIn is the best social networking site in our experience for achieving several business goals: positioning a person or organization as an expert; creating focused dialogue for business-to-business interactions; and for demonstrating expert credibility through recommendations.
Last week, LinkedIn took a big step to eradicate the divide between social media as digital natives see it, and social media as digital immigrants practice it, by unveiling a new suite of developer tools. These tools are meant to put LinkedIn on a similar footing with Facebook’s Open Graph, the cool suite of tools that took some of Facebook’s best-loved features, such as the Like button, and made them available for placement on the websites of companies, bands, sports teams and nonprofits.
The idea is to personalize the web and bring down the barriers between the formality of a corporate website and the casual ease of a social networking environment. We’ll be working with the new LinkedIn tools here at WordWrite in coming months. From what we see so far, the LinkedIn tools are a very strong offering — a home run in concept, and potentially a big score in execution as well. That’s something we’ll learn in coming months as companies put these new tools to use by imbedding them in their websites.
The respected Internet news site ReadWriteWeb has an in-depth review and even links to the new LinkedIn plug-ins here. If you need a refresher on the meaning and thinking beyond the Open Graph concept for Facebook, this Mashable article is a great place to start.
Let us know what you think about the Open Graph and how LinkedIn is approaching this opportunity, compared to the Facebook approach. Is LinkedIn trying too hard to be like Facebook? Or is LinkedIn the grown-up social network that is finally “growing up” in terms of its adoption of plug-ins and developer tools that expand its value in the social media universe?
Paul Furiga is president and CEO of WordWrite Communications.