“In the end, the value isn't how many people you can link to, but rather how strong those links are. (There's a difference between business services such as LinkedIn, where the focus is mostly on increasing efficiency and limiting contacts to valuable ones, and the more social and would-be portal sites, such as Friendster or Orkut, where the focus is more on increasing the number of contacts. And, of course, some people use either kind of service for the opposite purpose, which only confuses things.)”
She adds: “The fact is, most of my social networks happen in the context of communications about something or other; they happen in my regular mail, not via some social network platform. With many of my contacts, I share several activities, seamlessly.”
I agree and my email folders, organized around logical communities, and my Outlook contacts are my social network system. The ability of Outlook to offer a menu of people with same first letter in their name as the letter I type is a huge productivity gain for me as I create a customized email list for a particular effort. Esther goes on to offer some useful advice to LinkedIn and other similar tools. I have joined LinkedIn myself, originally through an invitation from someone else and I continue to accept invitations but it is a novelty for me at the moment, and I have not figured out how to put it into my personal workflow in a useful way. I have to confess that I am sure I am a LinkedIn underachiever with only 25 friends.
I went to the Plaxo site and there are over 2,500,000 members and counting with over 800,000,000 connected contacts. Soon they will pass the number of blogs. What does this mean?