LinkedIn is Evolving

Social Networks evolve organically as their member bases grow, and communities become more engaged with the media they interact with. MySpace's evolution was 'tacky' at best, and sadly, Facebook is headed down the same road with its advent for user created facebook applications that are made to amuse ADD ridden users (myself amongst them). However, one network is doing thing right, and evolving in a direction that is not only productive, but integrative to deeper engagement among its users.

LinkedIn has been growing at a phenomenal rate in the professional social networking space, and has recently launched a slew of features including the ability to add a picture to your profile, chronological network updates, adding connections from other sources, and the ability to request to join a group easily. But LinkedIn didn't stop there, they're about to launch LinkedIn 2.0 if you will :)

News Just For You

LinkedIn has opened up a new communication module that delivers pertinent industry related news to you, right in your dashboard. To add a bit of the 'social' to the mix they've ordered the articles based upon what other readers in your current company and network are reading. Here's LinkedIn's announcement:

Start each work day by reading the most relevant news articles about your company, your industry, and your competitors through a Company News feed ranked by relevance and popularity within your company network. Also, the five most read news articles (or blog posts) show up on your homepage and you can click through to see more. You can also browse through the articles that have been read the most by your colleagues this past week or in the past 2 weeks thereby providing you a complete history of the hot business topics in your professional world.

Ajaxified Module Customization

Module customizeation is a mix of where iGoogle meets LinkedIn's dashboard. You can now add or modify three modules including People, Jobs, and Answers.

Other Nifty Features

LinkedIn's introduced a couple of very useful changes to its network update feature that you can read about here. They include chronological network updates, a yahoo webmail contact importer, and a pop up box to send messages directly to your connections.

What This Means For You

Close to every new step in the world of web 2.0 is an opportunity for you, and LinkedIn's new features will make professional networking online easier, more efficient and more lucrative for your personal brand equity. They've created and evolved the platform and now it's upto you to make use of it.

It certainly seems like LinkedIn's doing all the right things in bringing about the evolution of professional networking online. Add me to your connections, and tell me what you think of the new beta, which you can try out here.