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I recently signed up with Linkedin and have managed to get in touch with former colleagues whom I had lost contact with over the years. It has been largely been a positive experience and have managed to grow my network fairly quickly.

An individual whom I had made contact through Linkedin just sent me an email inviting me to join plaxo.com.

Has anyone had any experience with this site? What is the difference between plaxo.com and Linkedin?

Many Thanks
MXW

HMac's picture

Although I was on Plaxo long before LinkedIn came along, I find LinkedIn to be much more useful for networking.

I've used Plaxo for little more than an online place to hold all my Outlook contacts - (so I could access them without my company-issued laptop).

LinkedIn is much more searchable. Plus, I recently started an alumni group for former employees of my last company. Two weeks, and it's already attracted almost 250 members (the majority of whom are people I didn't know, and are therefore new networking links for me!).

I'd be interested in hearing more about how people use Plaxo!

mwojtow's picture

Hugh,

Thank you for your insight regarding plaxo. It looks to me as though it is more a social rather than professional networking site.

Also, I was trying to think of a way to connect with former associates in a simple easy more meaningful / different way using LindedIn. The professional alumni group sounds interesting.

MXW

tomas's picture

One thing to watch out for with Plaxo (or similar tools) is it can be a bit spammy, at least it was when one of my associates signed up for it. You have the option of having plaxo send out email notifications to people in your address book which can be a bit invasive in my opinion.

This was a while ago, so maybe they have moderated this behaviour by now.

SteveSherry's picture

[quote="HMac"]I've used Plaxo for little more than an online place to hold all my Outlook contacts - (so I could access them without my company-issued laptop).
[/quote]

Totaly agree, I've used plaxo for 6 years now, but never for anything more than an online storage for my outlook address lists.

A nice feature of it is, that when someone updates their contacts online (plaxo.com) it automatically and silently updates your contacts with the new details.

I personally prefer LinkedIn, it seems much more searchable.

Incidentally i'm at http://www.linkedin.com/pub/7/2a2/562 ( i think that link is right :wink:)

HMac's picture

Steve - I clicked though to your LinkedIn - it works fine. But only 2 connections? C'mon man - get on the networking bus! I'll send you an invitation, because you'll find my network includes a couple dozen direct marketers in the UK.

-Hugh

timbarrow's picture

I'm also kind of new to LinkedIn...although it seams as if all of the recruiters are using it these days. It provides a wealth of information - but I'm not sure how I'm going to use it. I have been able to get back in touch with a number of colleagues, and it's interesting to get ahold of people that I haven't been in touch with for many years (finding that other friends are better at keeping up with people).

I've got a two part dilemma.
1)I can see upper management from a prospective employer. It's helpful because I've heard quite a few first names thrown out in interviews and now I can look them up to see who they are. However, if I was on the other end, not so sure that I would appreciate someone contacting me about a prospective position that I'm already in the interview process for. Heck – not even sure that I would like someone to contact me about a position that I haven't applied to before. What is the protocol??

2) Recruiters seem to love this site and I don't think that they mind if I were to get into contact with them. I think that they are looking to add as many contacts as possible to their list to expand their network. So how do I deal with it so that I'm not just another number?

rwwh's picture

[quote="timbarrow"]2) Recruiters seem to love this site and I don't think that they mind if I were to get into contact with them. I think that they are looking to add as many contacts as possible to their list to expand their network. So how do I deal with it so that I'm not just another number?[/quote]

You will be a number. And this defeats part of the purpose of the site: such a person will not introduce you to one of their other linked people. So even though you may win thousands of 2nd level links by linking to a recruiter with a public E-mail address and 5000+ links, this will not help your network.

SteveSherry's picture

[quote="HMac"]I'll send you an invitation, because you'll find my network includes a couple dozen direct marketers in the UK.

-Hugh[/quote]

Excellent!

Many thanks, i'll try harder next time.
To be fair though I only really got onto linked in about a week ago.
:wink:

kklogic's picture

I don't want to post my Linked In info here for fear of 'bots scraping it and getting spammed -- but if anyone here that I know PMs me, I'll shoot out my info. (It occurs to me that 10 years ago, that sentence would have made NO sense :D )

svgates's picture

[quote="kklogic"] -- but if anyone here that I know PMs me, I'll shoot out my info. [/quote] Not to be a smartass, but how does one know if they are someone you know .... ;)

kklogic's picture

[quote="svgates"][quote="kklogic"] -- but if anyone here that I know PMs me, I'll shoot out my info. [/quote] Not to be a smartass, but how does one know if they are someone you know .... ;)[/quote]

You know what they say, better a smart...

I guess what I meant was a "trusted person" - meaning someone that I've seen post here. I've been on the 'net since it was just us geeks and have seen some odd stuff over the years. You can't be too careful doling out your personal info.

P.S. Yes, you would be considered a "trusted person." Sheesh.

svgates's picture

:D

The first LinkedIn invite I got 'lo these many months ago, I pretty much turned up my nose. Had too much of a "desperately seeking validation" feel to it.

The second invite was just a few weeks ago. I'm thinking now that it's reached that tipping point of network value where each additional node adds greater value to the whole than the last node. (Or, I was clueless then and slightly less so now ...)

I am actively building connections among those employed by the other member firms of an equity partnership my firm is in. As well, I'm hoping to worm my into connections with other M-T advocates. At first this seemed silly since the M-T forums provide plenty of opportunity to 'commune' (in the Web 2.0 sense), and the LinkedIn connection would be superfluous. Then I rationalized -- I mean, [u]realized[/u]-- that there are some really wise folk contributing to the M-T forums, and whatever extra insight into them I get from the difference in context would be ... cool.

Steven

jhack's picture

I successfully located past colleagues with whom I had lost touch through LinkedIn. You can search by name. That's a nice feature.

John

HMac's picture

I've been on LinkedIn for a couple of years now, and I can't point to ANY increase in SPAM because of it. They're been very thoughtful in their designs" for example, it limits the capacity to do much messaging [i]within[/i] LinkedIn - and it's pretty much impossible to any type of group mailing inside the system.

The search capabilities for networking are pretty impressive - and I strongly recommend spending a little time playing with them. Not only can you search by name, but you can search by industry, by current/former employer, and then refine it geographically.

Lastly, there's a job board that's beginning to pick up - I applied to three jobs through LinkedIn just yesterday.

To play with the search function: Look for any of the tabs "Advanced People Search."

To look at jobs: at the top of the frame, just under the LinkedIn logo, there's a dropdown labeled "Jobs."