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Letting The Cat Out Of The Bag: Writing A Book On LinkedIn

May 21st, 2007

I'm writing a book!Over the last couple of months I’ve been working on a book that I hope will bring knowledge and encouragement to many. It’s about LinkedIn (from a user’s perspective but not a user’s manual). While I’ve never done this before I’m guessing that I’ll be able to wrap things up and get the first draft sent off by next week. But I need some help!

I would love to get more feedback, ideas and advice from you! You can leave it as a comment here but PLEASE send me an e-mail also (Jason@JibberJobber [dot] com). Here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Most important thing to know about LinkedIn, as a user: what is the one piece of advice that you would give me, as a new LinkedIn user? Or a casual user that does not take advantage of all the cool bells-and-whistles?
  • Top 5 list of things I should know: similar to the first bullet point but this time you don’t have to choose just one thing. If you want you can give me a bonus sixth point :)
  • Stuff to not do: are there things where you spent your time or money and wished that you hadn’t? What are pitfalls to avoid?
  • What you wish you had known when you first got started: I had only 6 connections for a few months and found LinkedIn to be very lonely and useless. There are a lot of things I wish I would have understood when I first got started. What can you share?
  • What are some excellent resources that others should know about: Scott Allen’s recent Smart Ways to Use LinkedIn may be one of the best single online resources yet… but do you have a favorite?
  • Still don’t get it: if you don’t get LinkedIn, have tried it, haven’t tried it or are just plain unsure what the value it – let me know! What are your concerns and questions, what have you tried (or not tried), etc.

Just as I do on my JibberJobber testimonial page, I’d love to give credit where I can. So please think about what your signature area would be so I don’t have to guess (or misrepresent).

One final note: I’d love to include your stuff in this book! But I need to have you fill out an authorization form – please be aware that I’ll shoot you an authorization form as soon as I can (so make sure I have your e-mail address!).

Thanks a ton, this will be a pretty busy week for me as I work on wrapping this up – please send me your thoughts and ideas as soon as you can!

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10 Responses to “Letting The Cat Out Of The Bag: Writing A Book On LinkedIn”

  1. Scott Ingram says:

    Jason,

    Nice cat! I also like your approach.

    I’ve thought for some time that a great place to use this approach for putting a book together would be LinkedIn Answers. What a great way to use the topic of your book to write your book.

    I’ll try to bang out an e-mail for your shortly.

    Happy Networking!

    P.S. You shouldn’t keep cats in bags. I don’t think it’s very good for them.

  2. Karin H. says:

    Hi Jason

    Sounds interesting. The only reason I became a member of LinkedIn when was someone said I could find so and so that way. (Was looking for so and so at the moment).
    Opened an account (had to in order to find the details of so and so) and left it with that. Couldn’t (still can’t) figure out what to do with IT.

    Then recently someone (I know locally) asked me to ‘link-up’ with him. I did and found someone else (also locally) I linked with.
    Now what? (Received a message I have 3 connection left – what’s that all about – do I have to pay now?)

    That’s my strange experience with LinkedIn, don’t even feel linked in ;-)

    Karin H. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)

  3. Daniel Sweet says:

    As it turns out, at the FRACAT networking meeting here in Houston being held tomorrow (http://www.fracat.com/blog/2007/04/27/next-fracat-networking-meeting-announced-poll/), I’m going to be talking about using LinkedIn to further your business / job search / career plans.

    I’m still organizing the material, but I’ll give you my items probably on Wednesday. Unless, of course, you’re going to be in Houston tomorrow night?

    Dan

  4. Mario P. Lopez says:

    Jason,

    Good evening. Excellent idea about that book. (I really want to find and read a really focused book on networking)

    I don’t know if this idea of mine would fit as a feasible one for what you’re looking for: Do you remember that we recently talked about giving Jibber Jobber a gradually international profile for networking purposes? I already emailed you with a comment about this idea.

    Best regards.

    - Mario P. Lopez, CPA

  5. I’ve had a LinkedIn account since January, but didn’t get active with it until about 2 months ago when I read Scott Allen’s “The Virtual Handshake”. What I realized from that book is that I had a better network than I thought, but it wasn’t particularly diverse outside my employer. I don’t have nearly as much experience with it as others, but I’m somewhere between “I don’t get it” and “I’m master of LinkedIn” (closer to the first than the second). My observations:

    - My favorite thing about LinkedIn is finding old contacts. I discovered an old college friend and several coworkers who moved on to other companies. It was nice to read about what they’d been up to in their profiles and reconnect.

    - I’m starting to think LinkedIn may be Resume 2.0, but I’m not 100% convinced yet. When I beefed up my profile, I actually copied and pasted bullet points from my latest conventional resume and now that thing is searchable for all the world to see. That’s a lot different than posting it some random place on a few job sites. It’s in a neutral place where you expect pressure-reduced interactions with others.

    - I recently heard LinkedIn described as “MySpace for business” and didn’t really get that until the last 2 weeks. I started to monitor LinkedIn Answers in my area of expertise in my RSS reader and found it is a decent way to meet people and show your credibility. If I make a clever reply here, even if I put a link to my LinkedIn profile in my post signature you probably won’t follow it. In LinkedIn, though, it is part of the experience so when I make some comment about HTML structures and you see what my current job is, you’re inclined to believe me. There’s something about staying on the same web site that makes people more likely to click on that link and find out more about you, I think because you know what the rules of engagement are when you go to Linked In.

    That’s only 3, so I’ll donate my other 2 to somebody else who has more ideas than I do 8).

    Pete Johnson
    HP.com Chief Architect
    Work email: pete.johnson@hp.com
    Personal email: pete.johnson@nerdguru.net
    Personal Blog: http://nerdguru.net

  6. What an excellent idea, Jason! Some of us do our best with the knowledge we have, but sometimes the knowledge falls short. I’m not using LinkedIn (or any other network aids, for that matter) to its potential. Evidently Karin and I are in the same boat (and, between us, we only have one oar :) ). I’ll definitely be following your progress; this is a ‘must have’ for my library.

  7. Karin H. says:

    Carolyn ;-) LOL
    I do know about canoeing though (where, if you are a bit experienced one oar does make progress ;-) )

  8. Ok, Karin, let’s go for the canoe. At least experience with it will eventually pay off.

  9. Karin H. says:

    Caroline, you’re on. And together we will make some waves, won’t we? ;-)

  10. [...] This looks very elementary right now, without many links. But you’ll get a chance to see what I’m thinking. There are a number of resources that I haven’t put in yet and will be fleshing it out over time – for now I need to work on my book (I need to send the first draft to an editor this weekend!!)! [...]

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