Larry Dignan offers his view on the announcement that LinkedIn has added in a bundle of applications designed to enhance the platform. Larry is mildly dismissive, suggesting that:
I wouldn’t call these applications exactly enterprise class, but could be useful in the corporate environment.
If we're equating 'enterprise' to the 1,000 person up business then yes, Larry has a good point but if we're talking about the individual, looking to establish a personal business network then I disagree. Huddle for instance is a great application for the kind of crowdsourcing we're seeing in niche networks. Tripit is useful for connecting with those you may have in your network when on the road. From a regional viewpoint, I would have preferred to see Dopplr. But Wordpress.com inclusion just seems lame. What's wrong with Wordpress.org?
I'd like to think this will work but I'm not convinced. I installed some of the apps to my profile and found that there is no discovery process that automatically links to my profiles in other applications. OK - so maybe I need a touch of 'security' to ensure I'm linking to the right 'stuff.' And yes, there are the to be expected performance glitches that a couple of my colleagues have picked up.
But the real downside for me is that LinkedIn requires me to use it as a portal of sorts. That means another application I need keep open on the desktop and probably in its own window. The advantage is that I can aggregate other apps I might use into one place but in reality I don't believe I am going to do that.
I'd like to be proven wrong because LinkedIn is starting to mature into the kind of personal work-life tool that professionals will want to use. As Larry says:
The move (LinkedIn blog, statement, Techmeme) makes sense as LinkedIn can stick to its knitting, maintain its focus in what should be a boom time (lots of folks looking to network and find jobs on the cheap) and the social network can differentiate from the games and other time wasting apps found elsewhere.
Whether it catches the eye of the Gen-Y'ers I see flocking around Facebook is another matter. They don't seem to mind the chaos that Facebook has become. Speaking personally, I got out of there the moment I started getting 'poked.'