Social networking sites are useful for staying in touch with past colleagues and business contacts (LinkedIn) and family and friends (Facebook). In fact LinkedIn is set as my homepage on my work browser – it’s that useful to me. I can follow business articles recommended by people in my professional network, see who’s changed jobs and generally stay in touch with people. For all of LinkedIn’s strengths, it has at least one major drawback – “People you may know”. This is LinkedIn’s suggestions for people that you might want to connect with – but it’s based on their software algorithm. In other words, they think their software is better at finding suggested connections than I would be on my own. Here’s an example, today I saw a recommendation that I connect to Eric Paley of The Founders Collective. It’s a pretty good suggestion as Eric and I follow many of the same types of entrepreneurs and in fact have 72 shared connections already. I don’t know Eric but he’s someone that I should probably reach out to at some point.
While Eric is a good suggestion, he’s buried with a bunch of horrible ones – people that I have very little if anything in common with and that haven’t even bothered to add a photograph to their profiles. The suggestion looks like they know that I’m an active user and maybe if I connect with one of these people, they’ll become active as well. That’s clearly serving LinkedIn’s purpose of broadening user engagement – not my objective of meeting and interacting with people with common business purposes and interests. I’d like to be able to sort my recommended connections by job title, industry sector and the number of shared contacts but they don’t have that functionality on the site. If LinkedIn wants social media engagement, it should make it easier for me to find the people that I want to engage in conversations.
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Eastward Capital Partners – providing $1 – 10 million venture debt, growth capital and equipment financing to venture-backed, emerging growth companies since 1994. We also provide expansion capital to non venture backed companies.
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