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LinkedIn Hits a Tipping Point: Annoying distraction turns essential business tool

12/18/2006

When you’re a “connector” in the Malcom Gladwell sense of the word there is nothing worse than social networking. Having been a magazine editor and conference producer for many, many years I got to meet tens of thousands of people. Additionally, I’ve traded 200-300 emails daily for over 10 years. On top of all this my email address is permanent (my first name @ my last name).

As a result, when things like Plaxo, Friendster, and LinkedIn came out–with their slick little address uploading tools–my email box went crazy. Plaxo was of course the worst offender, leading me to “get into itwith Tim Koogle at PC Forum a couple of years ago. Of course, this was back when you got 100 emails a week from Plaxo if you want them or not–Plaxo has since cleaned up it’s act.

Anyway, I used to put Linked into the same bucket because I was constantly hit up for introductions and friend requests to the service. A couple of years later I now have almost 2,000 connections and I’m finally getting value you from the service.

How?

Well, they have an amazing job posting service where you can post the job on LinkedIn for around $150 and then it gives you the option of sending the not to people on your contact list. For someone like me that means I get to send to my best contacts easily. Unfortunately LinkedIn doesn’t have a check box to select all your friends, so I had to take 10 minutes to select all my friends page after page after page (you gotta fix that Reid!!!).

Anyway, after sending that email/posting the job out last night I got back–I kid you not–250 emails. That’s like a 10-15% response rate. Now, only 50 of them had to do with the job (the rest were “how you doing!” kind of emails), but the 50 I got back were so fracking targeted it was INSANE. Best $150 I’ve ever spent. Much better than HotJobs or Monster that’s for sure.

Epilogue: This afternoon a headhunter called me asking if I’d filled the position and I told them that I had 2,000 contacts in my Linked in and got 50 amazing leads and that I was having a hard time getting through them all. That’s the real loser in all of this: headhunters. If you’ve got a large network and can put it to work so easily why would you ever give a headhunter $5-20,000 for?!?!

Note: My public LinkedIn Profile is here: http://www.linkedin.com/profile?viewProfile=&key=24171
Note2: Why on earth isn’t my public profile http://www.linkedin.com/jasoncalacanis ????

  • http://www.wolf-howl.com/random-thoughts/michael-gray-and-jason-calacanis-best-friends-forever/ Michael Gray and Jason Calacanis Best Friends Forever

    [...] about do you think he’d get to speak on panels at WEB2.0 conferences and I totally loved you blog post about how you used you linkedin Profile (I told you I really do [...]

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Hello, my name is Jason. Welcome to my blog on the interwebs. You can reach me on twitter @jason and by email at jason@inside.com. My Skype is jasoncalacanis, and my mobile phone is 310-456-4900.

I only pick up numbers I recognize, and in terms of emailing me, the best strategy is to write short, blunt and to the point requests. I can quickly respond to short messages, and many times I simply don't have the time to read five page pitches. In terms of taking meetings, I only do that after reviewing an actual product (not a business plan). So, the best time to ping me is when you have mockups or an alpha site. I don't read business plans, and I've never written one.

Other twitter accounts you can follow: Inside.com, Ticker, This Week in Startups and LAUNCH Festival

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