How do I feel about LinkedIn? I would say it depends on what you are trying to accomplish. For professionals and entrepreneurs seeking networking opportunities, LinkedIn can be a valuable tool for making important contacts, finding jobs, and researching companies. Some possible negatives of LinkedIn include the responsibility of keeping profiles updated and the fact that free members don’t have direct access to people beyond their primary connections.
Recently I began the process of creating a LinkedIn profile and stopped after entering my name. Why the hesitation? For starters, I’m an educator and wasn’t comfortable disclosing information that would identify the district where I work. Secondly, I would like for my profile to reflect my MSIS in Sustainability degree once I’ve graduated in December. Finally, I asked myself, “Why do I need a LinkedIn account and is it worth my time right now?” Since I couldn’t clearly define specific reasons to complete the process, I decided to pass for now. Perhaps in the future I will jump into the LinkedIn world when it is more relevant to my career.
Am I saying that educators can’t benefit from professional networking sites? Not at all! A quick search for educational networking sites revealed that there are a plethora of networks available for teachers including Ning, BuddyPress, Elgg, Diigo, and many more. Will I join any of these groups? Perhaps, I will join in the future if I can find the time.