In the past few months I’ve been analyzing email contact databases for several of my clients to determine which social networking sites are most popular among their contacts.
Interestingly, after running their email databases through sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, the most commonly used social network has proven to be LinkedIn.
I first discovered this trend after analyzing ChanginAging’s subscriber list earlier this year. Facebook was the second runner-up by a narrow margin, but it still surprised me to see the internet’s juggernaut of social networking — Facebook boasts 400 million active users — being dominated by LinkedIn’s paltry 65 million (ha!).
LinkedIn is a social networking site similar to sites like Facebook and MySpace. The main difference is it’s supposed to be a site for professionals used to link people together in a work context. It embraces the principle of Six Degrees of Separation, i.e., that someone you know will know someone who knows someone who will help you fill, or land, a job.
Like much of ChangingAging’s subscriber base, several of my other clients come from the long term care sector and are only just beginning to explore social networking. I’m guessing that a professional network such as LinkedIn has greater appeal than Facebook. I’m also hypothesizing that people tend to use their professional email for LinkedIn and business-related newsletters (where our email databases are generated) and their personal emails for Facebook.
Regardless, my motto has always been “Go Where the People Are”, so I have been working to build a ChangingAging LinkedIn Group to foster greater connectivity among professional networks whose work deeply impacts the fields of long term care and culture change.
I’ve found dozens of Groups related to eldercare and aging services and have joined a handful. But interestingly, I found no groups related to culture change. I think there’s a huge opportunity here to build new relationships and mobilize advocates of culture change.
Everyone — from pioneers of the movement who wield considerable influence over the future of long term care, to advocates on the front lines, to elders demanding a better way of life — has a stake in this conversation and can benefit from stronger connectivity.
I’m putting out an open invitation to anyone interested in ChangingAging and culture change to join our LinkedIn Group here. If you’re not a LinkedIn member, sign up! Who knows who you know and when you will need to network for a job.
I’d also like to hear your thoughts on LinkedIn. Anyone managed to get a job because of LinkedIn? Any employers using LinkedIn for hiring? Has anyone managed to get a job though other social networking tools such as their blog or Facebook? We’d love to hear.