I’ve been on LinkedIn for several years now, and in the past couple weeks I put up a Facebook page. While the two services are somewhat similar, the implementation makes the entire experience different. Here’s my take:
- LinkedIn asks me to impose on my circle of friends for introductions to other people, something I will never do, and something which is an obvious limiting factor to growth.
- Facebook’s networking seems a little limiting to me. There’s a presumption that you’ve either worked together, gone to school together, or share a geographic bond. In the case of many people I would think are in my network, none of those bonds exists. While I can’t put my finger on it, I feel like a square peg which is being pounded into a round hole.
- LinkedIn isn’t better at the networking thing. Coworkers get to send you invites, all others have to be referred. Since I work with tons of people at different companies, this used to be a real problem. It does seem like they’ve made it easier for people to connect, as I notice I’ve got some requests that didn’t come via third party of late.
- Facebook puts more “Self” into the site. The pages are customizable (but thank God they have saved us from the MySpace Customization lunacy) and offer interesting widgets to allow us to make more out of our profile.
- LinkedIn is basically an online resume. A giant rollodex…
So yes, I like Facebook better. Since joining, I’ve reconnected with one old college friend, Jim Louderback, and generally have had a great experience. Will any work come from it? Who knows, but for now, I generally like it and am having conversations with people that would not have happened via email or any other network…
Apparently LinkedIn is feeling the heat – Mashable.com notes that they are preparing to offer more Facebook like service by opening their APIs – that should happen within the next 9 months – a lifetime in the fast moving world of Web 2.o.