LinkedIn is an online community with the purpose of ‘connecting the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful’. The company have their own Youtube channel with over 47,000 subscribers and 39,378,591 views , Twitter, Facebook, Blog, and Google+, showing that it is not just the site itself which forms the online community. Members benefit by gaining valuable, professional contacts who can then help each other to build their career. Because members are described as ‘professional’ we feel as though we are skilful and experienced in our profession by joining the network, and that other professionals want to build contacts with us.
There may be a danger of being part of several different communities which have different purposes and are aimed at different audience types. For example, you may be a member of the LinkedIn community, but also use Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. This could harm the representation of yourself as a professional, because contacts on LinkedIn may search your name on Twitter or Facebook and see photos of you wearing a few too little clothes and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. This shows that we need to maintain a profile not only within one community, but across all of the communities we are a part of. We need to be careful of who our audience is, depending on how we want to portray ourselves, and be aware that everything we publish is seen.
The advantages of LinkedIn as an online network outweigh the challenges you may face whilst building your profile. LinkedIn is a healthy community to be a part of. While some virtual communities may encourage extreme and dangerous behaviours depending on the common interests of the members, this community encourages professional and successful minds and helps people to build their careers.
This video demonstrates how LinkedIn can help you to discover a career path as well as build your current career. The slogan at the end of the video is ‘Fast forward your journey’, showing the positive outlook that this online community attempts to share with its members.