Just a quick question for readers: does social networking software help out in your professional life? I’m a very tepid user of the various sites, I accept invites and so on, but it isn’t something I invest a lot of time on in building a large of number of friends/contacts or fleshing out my profile. I know that some research has shown that a professional contacts are often found through your second-tier relationships, that is, not close friends but good acquaintances and what not. People who you know, but whose contacts don’t overlap much with yours. So I suppose that’s the point of something like linkedin. But does it really work? I’ve receive much better contacts through the blog, email, e-lists and so on.
(note, I am not disputing that social networking software helps your personal or social life. I know many people who’ve gotten action through friendster or myspace, but no one who has made professional gains via linkedin)