Networking online is a great way to extend your reach and meet people outside your local geographic area. But keep in mind that online networking should be used in conjunction with, not instead of face to face in-person networking. These are both important and useful tools.

 I am a big fan of LinkedIn and use it to help me keep track of, and in touch with business contacts. It is also a good place to meet new people. One way to do that is to participate by answering questions in the “Answers” area or at some of the group discussion boards, by doing this people get to know you. If they like your answers they may choose to communicate further with you or click through to your profile or website. In this way you slowly build a reputation and grow your network.

 Now there are a handful of people at LinkedIn who are prolific when it comes to responding to great numbers of questions. The LI system features these individuals by listing them by order of most questions answered as “This Week’s Top Experts.” Now I am here to tell you that answering the greatest number of sometimes lame questions with the greatest number of sometimes equally lame answers in no way qualifies anyone on the list as an expert in anything except the ability to answer the most questions in a given week.  However, this dubious distinction caught my fancy and I set out to distinguish myself among this illustrious and somewhat notorious group.

 It is my observation that for most of the time that I have been paying attention, which is about a year, on and off, the number one position is most times filled by Dave Maskin a/k/a TheWire Man who usually attains this distinctions with something in the area of 300 plus questions answered in any given week. Second through fifth place is typically filled by Firas Abo Assaf, Judy B Margolis, Sahar Andrade, Wallace Jackson or Bryan C. Webb with numbers in excess of 200 questions answered.

 I felt compelled to challenge myself to see how some of these people respond to so many questions and investigate how much time it takes. Well after about ten days I was able to get into the coveted position of top five and actually made it to the fourth position for about a day with about 225 questions answered in a seven day period.

 If you give a number of trite replies to those that do not deserve much more, and try to give a half way decent reply to questions you might actually know something about, it takes a commitment of about 2 hours a day to attain this brief but honorable distinction.

 Now what’s the benefit you might say?  I found it helps you to see what people are thinking about and gives you the opportunity to ponder a variety of subjects. People do ultimately click through to see who you are and you might actually help a few people. My profile clicks were up a tad as were my web clickthroughs from LinkedIn. I received a number of nice email replies from various individuals thanking me for my participation in answering their questions and had a few pleasant follow-up questions or email swaps which led to including a few new people into my network because we seemed to have a potential future business synergy.

 The problem with most online social networking is that it is time consuming with minimal immediate return compared to face-to-face networking in my experience. I enjoy the activity of sharing ideas so I will continue to participate in this activity though I believe I will try to do so in a less competitive manner. Answering questions on LinkedIn and other social media sites is a worthwhile activity but be careful that you do not use it a substitute for personal interaction and when you are out in the world be sure to seal the deal with a business card.

LinkedIn Answers

6 thoughts on “LinkedIn Answers

  • November 12, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Interesting post, yes LI has a very strange system on ranking the “So Called Experts” but what I see increasing is people incriminating the people that are on that list including myself, like people that game the system, people that just want to show off, people with too much time on their hands etc.
    I have been on that list for quiet few months now, this list usually had Bryan Webber like you mentioned and sometimes Frank Feather- Firas, Wallace and Judy (who has been a great contributor to LI) have been there for the last few weeks.
    Each one has their own reason why they do and how they do it is really up to them- I personally spend 90 minutes on LI and it is a part of my SM strategy that proved very fruitful for my ROI- I am a start up with limited budget and it h ad helped me tremendously- I don’t answer half hearted answers ever but answer sarcastically sometimes when needed and sorry that LI ranks it as an answer but whoever doesn’t like the system should take it to LI and not on the people (some of the people) that are genuinely trying to build relationships by helping others, I agree that some answers posted are not what might question posers expect – you are welcome to go through my answers which by the way I am very proud of.
    Just thought to add my 2 cents as I see it fair to hear a response from at least one of the people that have been “criticised” trying to do the very thing that LI was built for: Networking and building relationships
    Happy Holidays
    Sahar Andrade

  • Reno Lovison
    November 12, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    Thanks for your comment. LinkedIn is all about business and networking. I understand they awant to exercise some control over their community but they should devise a way to make interaction easier.

  • February 9, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    Nice blog! I was wandering if you knew of any resoucres that teach the slide guitar?

  • Reno Lovison
    February 10, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Not sure where you are located but in Chicago “The Old Town School of Folk Music” is a good place to start. If you were to contact them they might have resources for you in other parts of the country. They are very well connected.

  • July 12, 2010 at 2:34 pm

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  • August 31, 2011 at 12:46 am

    Gun benefits reinstated! haha all the making just for all of these violence is amazing.

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