Facebook, LinkedIn Trying to Cover All of the Networking Bases

Ann All
<body><p>While folks are using social networks for business and for pleasure, there has been a fairly clear line of separation between the two -- at least until now.<br/><br/>The rule of thumb: LinkedIn -- and more specialized sites like TradeKing -- are for folks trying to make and maintain business connections. Faceobook, MySpace and a host of wannabes are for more social pursuits like gossiping, taking pop culture quizzes and hooking up.<br/><br/>Now, however, some networks -- most notably LinkedIn and Facebook -- appear to be trying to meet in the middle. Despite qualms over maintaining its professional image, LinkedIn recently capitulated to user requests to <strong><a href="http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/hdw/?p=957" title="Networking Site LinkedIn To Allow Photos">allow photos in profiles</a></strong>. Whether or not this will lead to an increase in hooking up and other less-than-professional activities remains to be seen, but photos put the emphasis more squarely on "social" than on "networking."<br/><br/>At roughly the same time, <strong>Fortune</strong> reports, Facebook announced that it would <strong><a href="http://www.itbusinessedge.com/item/?ci=34339">allow users to segregate work-related contacts from strictly social ones</a></strong>.<br/><br/>As Fortune points out, this looks like an effort for Facebook to position itself as a more direct competitor to LinkedIn. Despite Facebook's ostensibly social nature, plenty of folks<strong><a href="http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/tve/?p=164" title="Taking the Talent Hunt to Cyberspace"> like job recruiters</a></strong> are utilizing it for professional networking.<br/><br/>Or it could be part of Facebook's bolder aspirations to become not only an all-encompassing network but a de facto Internet development platform, something folks<strong><a href="http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/tve/?p=168" title="Facebook at the Intersection of Social, Business Lives"> have been buzzing about</a></strong> since it purchased the Web-based OS Parakey earlier this year. (Microsoft's supposed interest in acquiring it has driven <strong><a href="http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/msh/?p=146" title="Three Reasons Microsoft Shouldn't Buy into Facebook, and One and a Half Reasons It Should">valuations through the roof</a></strong>, inspiring many to renew talk of a Bubble 2.0.)<br/><br/>The biggest knock against LinkedIn, say observers like blogger Jeff Pulver, is its static nature. Fortune quotes Pulver: <blockquote>"I find that the interactions I have through Facebook are at once more rewarding and more nuanced and meaningful than what I experienced on LinkedIn."</blockquote> It will likely take more than the addition of photos to inspire a similar sentiment about LinkedIn.</p></body>

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Oct 25, 2007 9:31 AM Chad D. Chad D.  says:
Good article... However, it's not just about LinkedIn and Facebook. There are other (better) opportunities out there for professionals looking to network and market their business.Compare Networks:http://www.fastpitchnetworking.com/compare.cfmChad Reply

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