If you're anything like me, you like to be able to customize things. You like a little extra juice on top of the standard options. You like to let your personality show through and you like to see a little personality from others. It's one of the reasons I reluctantly joined Facebook, though LinkedIn is the social network I find to be more practical. That's why I was so happy to hear the news about LinkedIn applications.

Reid Hoffman announces the launch of the new LinkedIn applications on the LinkedIn blog:

This initial roll out features productivity applications that range from gathering information that professionals around you are generating to enhancing your abilities to collaborate and communicate more effectively. You'll be able to work much more closely with your contacts on LinkedIn with tools such as file sharing, project management, business trips and many more.

The nine applications that you see live today on LinkedIn include productivity enhancing applications from Amazon, Box.net, Google, Huddle, Six Apart, SlideShare, Tripit, and WordPress as well a Company Buzz application developed by LinkedIn. Each of these applications will help you stay current and competitive as a professional in today's rapidly changing business world.

Quite honestly, I'm pretty excited about this. While I've long said LinkedIn is my favorite social networking tool online, it's still one I don't use on a regular basis. It's my "go-to" tool for gathering feedback and advice and for finding contacts, but I've always felt it would become even more valuable with expanded functionality.

Apparently the team at LinkedIn agreed.

Check out LinkedIn's promo video for the new applications below:

I tried to install the Amazon Reading List application this morning, but it seems to be having some technical difficulties. I'll be keeping an eye on this one as I think I'll find it useful. Especially since I know many of my LinkedIn contacts are prolific readers and I'm always trying to figure out what book to read next.

I also tried to install the SlideShare application. (Unfortunately it hung up at about 10% complete...no doubt the system is absolutely overloaded today.) I generally get inundated with both LinkedIn requests and emails asking for copies of my presentations after shows, this seems like a really easy way to tie the two together.

While it may be a day or two before the system eases up enough that you can really get in and play with apps, it's at least worth taking a look at the options they're rolling things out with. You won't find any "rate how hot your friends are" or "get attacked by Zombies" showing up on the list...yet. Here's hoping it stays that way.

October 29, 2008

Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.


Linked In is the best business version of Facebook.

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