Web 2.0 – Why isn’t LinkedIn mentioned as a research tool?

April 30, 2008 — 9 Comments

In my interests for communities, in my daily professional life I use LinkedIn for of course several standard actions:

  • building up my network – to get in touch with people I can create mutual beneficial relationships
  • building my profile – to show people my professional thoughts, experiences, doings
  • getting more information – about people who I want to do business with or will have a meeting with

Getting to know Q&A

But since a year or so I’ve also found out that there is a Question & Answers section where all kinds questions are asked. The system is not only meant to help people with questions, but also to give professionals a chance to show their professionalism. There are many people who really digg this concept and have provided hundreds of answers already on questions. The system works in my opinion quite well and answers can be rated as ‘good’ or ‘best’.

Since so many professionals are online many questions are asked. I have recently started some questions myself:

Some fast observations

Based on the answers I’ve gotten on these questions I can make some quick observations:

  • It’s not clear for me how to get a question under the right attention. You can only select 1 category to publish your question. Maybe it would be wiser to give tags to the question and to alert experts based on those tags;
  • Technical questions tend to get more reactions, the 2 technical questions got many more answers than the first question I asked about the usage of Enterprise 2.0 tools;
  • It’s good to have a big list of connections, as you can use it to promote your questions. Still I think a system with ‘interests’ and ‘tags’ would match questions and experts better;
  • The answers are not all, many more interaction can come from it like, private messages, additional clarification on answers, discussions, invitations to get connected;

LinkedIn as research tool?

So for me, I’m quite sure that LinkedIn is a platform to start my online research. But now to put it to the test, I asked the following question in the category ‘using LinkedIn’:

More details to my question:

  • Of course Google is probably the first option. But besides just ‘searching’ the internet. What more Web 2.0 type of tools / possibilities do you use. Do you use blogs / LinkedIn or other type of platforms to find answers? Feel free to also tell how much time you think you have saved in comparison with more traditional ways like doing PoCs, getting consultants etc.

The anwers I got showed some diversity

Praveen Varma

General Manager – Business Development at Reliance Industries Limited

Best Answers in: Business Development (1)

I keep myself engage in some or other research like curently I am making a car mileage booster and prior to that I has made white LED based street light.

In all the R&D activity, the main sources which i have used on internet are:

1. Yahoo group / blogs
2. Globalsources.com to find out the material and suppliers.
3. And ofcourse Google.com for internet search.

The Yahoo group / blogs are useful only if the moderator of the group is strick otherwise you will end seeing the off-topic informaiton.

With respect to the time saving, it is really huge because most of the information is available online and on your finger tips.

However the consultant can help you finding out the required products, but in R&D projects I dont think they can offer great support and help because of changing specifications.

Regards

Praveen varma
91-9324289504
pvar06@yahoo.com

Theo Peek

Independent Online Media Consultant

There are many alternatives to the usual Google search, such as:

Listible (www.listible.com)
Technorati (www.technorati.com)
Delicious (del.icio.us)

But Google itself has a variety of alternatives. One that I use often is Sets (labs.google.com/sets). Which tool suits your needs is mostly dependent on what you are looking for though…

Messages from Theo Peek (1):

rohit grover

Software at GCube

Blogs or downloading e-content through sites sharing e-content through their material like http://www.e-snips.com/ , http://www.orielly.com/

and many more

Links:

Marco Kotrotsos

Social media specialist. Startup consulting and entrepreneur.

Best Answers in: Using LinkedIn (7)see more, Web Development (4), Computers and Software (2), Software Development (2), Job Search (1), Professional Networking (1), Advertising (1), Business Development (1), Organizational Development (1), Retirement and Estate Planning (1), Wealth Management (1), Starting Up (1), Databases (1) see less

Sure, blogs and linkedin to search for answers or get a different view on something. I also use experts-exchange alot. Wikipedia to form general overviews on topics. Online tools like backpack- basecamp or Google products (Google Groups is very good) are also key in colab in a team about topics…

Pieter Dorsman

Business strategist

Best Answers in: Ethics (6)see more, Education and Schools (3), Career Development (3), Computers and Software (2), Wireless (2), Using LinkedIn (2), Purchasing (1), Certification and Licenses (1), Job Search (1), Mentoring (1), Personnel Policies (1), Staffing and Recruiting (1), Internationalization and Localization (1), Treaties, Agreements and Organizations (1), Corporate Law (1), Internet Marketing (1), Public Relations (1), Sales Techniques (1), Change Management (1), Organizational Development (1), Currency Markets (1), Pricing (1), Enterprise Software (1), Computer Networking (1), Telecommunications (1), Software Development (1) see less

The Internet can only be used for primary orientation. Nothing more. Like my father used to say: “any moron can write a book”, just because something is written, doesn’t make it more true.

I use the Internet to find experts and specialists, not to find the direct data (unless it is a published survey from a scientific institute).

Roeland De Bruin

Marketing Executive at VODW Marketing

Although I use Google most of the time I get more relevant results with http://del.icio.us. I browse my own bookmarks in “your favorites” using the tags and also use the feature “popular” and “all” to see bookmarks of others.

Links:

Jerry Griep

Partner at likeWEare BV

Hi Ha,
Indeed Google is first option of choice. I also use senternovem’s website to request an innovation voucher for research. The voucher is then spent by scrolling through the list of knowledgecenters and choosing one.
TNO is another one.
For management issues I use ZIBB.nl

Conclusion: we just don’t see the opportunities that are at hand

  • blogs and groups are very common;
  • specific portals for specific interests like technocrati / o’reilly / zibb;
  • some people still think that the internet will not tell the truth, unless it’s published by some official research institute;
  • del.icio.us is mentioned also, but not very often;
But no one mentioned LinkedIn, not even the ones that have best answers in the category ‘using LinkedIn’. I’ve found the same results within Componence, none of my colleagues use LinkedIn for research. In my opinion, this is quite a waste of opportunity as:
  • many of us already have profile and connections;
  • many of us want to show our professional skills in LinkedIn;
  • many of us want to use LinkedIn to get know more people;
In my opinion the feature ‘Questions & Answers’ can help any LinkedIn user to work on all three purposes at the same time.
So of course we can say LinkedIn, do your marketing better for ‘Questions & Answers’, but for me this is just a sign that Enterprise 2.0 take a long time. Currently too many researches / companies / guru’s tend to focus Enterprise 2.0 as a solution to gain ‘internal efficiency / collaboration’.
Imho professionals should fist learn how to use Web 2.0 / Enterprise 2.0 to make more money in the short term, as this is more tangible and can create more sense of urgency. Only then it will become more easy to use Enterprise 2.0 for internal purposes, that will eventually need more patience as organizations are just usually slow to adopt and support new initiatives.
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9 responses to Web 2.0 – Why isn’t LinkedIn mentioned as a research tool?

  1. 

    Nice blog…

    Praveen

  2. 

    I use LinkedIn as a research tool all the time. As a matter of fact, I’m a big fan of Enterprise 2.0 technologies. So far my faves are Google apps and Wrike for project management.

  3. 

    Seems like there will soon be more powerful tools for market research on LI than the Q&A function: http://www.tomhcanderson.com/2008/05/04/facebook-and-now-linked-enter-the-%e2%80%9cmarket-research%e2%80%9d-game/

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