LinkedIn: the times they are a-changin’ (part 4 – LinkedIn Contacts)

LinkedIn just announced another new feature, LinkedIn Contacts. It’s a tool to keep track of people you know, whether they are found in your address book, email accounts, or calendars. LinkedIn is slowly sending out invitations to its members in the United States to add this feature. (Go to http://contacts.linkedin.com to put your name on the wait list.)

Contacts searches your online address book, email contacts, and people appearing in your calendar, and finds the ones who have LInkedIn profiles. It alerts you to to your contacts’ job changes and important events like birthdays, which gives you an opportunity to send them a message or call them. You will also have an option to add notes about how you met your contacts and your conversations, and create reminders of actions you need to take. For example, you might create a reminder to call a particular contact every three months. And when you open a contact’s LinkedIn profile, it will show you what email messages you sent them, and where they have been listed in your calendar.

Mashable reports that this new feature is based on on technology from Connected, a startup LinkedIn acquired in 2011.

LinkedIn Contacts is available on Linkedin.com and an iPhone app. Android users, hopefully there will be an app for your smart phone soon.

To read the article in Mashable, go to http://mashable.com/2013/04/25/linkedin-contacts/

LinkedIn: the times they are a-changin’ (part 2 – mentions)

After announcing the changes to their search tool, LinkedIn has added ‘mentions’ to their status updates. This gives LinkedIn users the ability to mention or tag another LinkedIn user in a post, they way they do in Twitter with the @’name’ feature. When the user types a name in the update or comments space, they will see a drop-down menu with a list of their connections or companies they follow to select from. When a LinkedIn user or a company is mentioned in a post, they will see a notification like they would in Twitter. At this point it looks like the drop-down list will include only first-level connections, LinkedIn says you will have a similar ability to respond to public comments on the LinkedIn Homepage.

LinkedIn has introduced this change to make it easier for their users to start or continue conversations with other users, to make your connections more valuable.

Watch for more changes in the near future.

LinkedIn: the times they are a-changin’ (part 1 – search)

LinkedIn is gradually rolling out several changes to your home page. You will see these changes one day when you log in to LinkedIn – there does not seem to be any pattern to who will receive the update.

One change they are talking about is an update to their search function. Instead of searching separately for people, companies, jobs or groups you can start a search in more than one category. So, for example, you can search ‘Acme Manufacturing’ for their company page, people in your network who work at Acme Manufacturing, and jobs posted by Acme Manufacturing in a single search. This will give you a more comprehensive picture of what’s going on at your target company, no matter what you are looking for.

LinkedIn will also give you more options to narrow your search when you are using the Advanced People Search. This should let you focus more clearly on the people who meet your specific criteria and make your search for prospects or contacts more productive.

They will also add Google-like auto-complete and suggested search suggestions that will appear when you are typing in a search term.This small productivity enhancer will make your LinkedIn search experience more consistent with other searches you normally do.

This is not the only change LinkedIn has in store for you, and it is not the most visible. We will have more updates on that soon. In the meantime, as the Boy Scouts say, ‘be prepared”.