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Did you get a warm and fuzzy email recently from LinkedIn announcing how special you are among their current network?  If you didn’t  don’t fret, it’ll be okay.  If you did, it was probably recognizing you for how popular your profile was or how you helped their network grow.

I received an email for being among the top 1% of viewed profiles in 2012, and honor bestowed to me and about 2,000,000 other people considering they just hit the 200,000,000 user mark.

I mean finally, I know what it feels like to be one of the cool kids in high school, because a social platform has labeled me popular!  I honestly didn’t know it was a popularity contest; I might have made more of an effort.

Other people I know also made the top 1 or 5%, and if you don’t live in the USA, you might have received an email noting that you were among the first 500,000 users in your country of origin, or some other such marketing email to remind you of the value you add to their network.

All jests aside, it’s a nice gesture on LinkedIn’s part, makes you feel good (or perhaps wonder if you have a few more online stalkers than you thought), but even more so, it’s great marketing on their part.

If you weren’t one of the people to receive such an email and wondering why, don’t sweat it–you’re still cool, amazing, and wonderful (trust me–you are!).  I have a hunch that some of the most viewed profiles happen to be of individuals in recruitment and HR functions because as a business tool, LinkedIn has become somewhat synonymous with recruitment; therefore lots of job seekers are looking for who they should be connecting with on the platform, as well, we’re some of the people who most heavily use the tool on a day to day basis.

If you’re not using LinkedIn to its full potential and wonder what all the fuss is about, don’t worry.  If you’re a job seeker, yes, of course, it’s a good idea to put up a solid profile and get active, but on the same note, if it’s not a tool you’re comfortable with, it’s probably only going to have a small impact on your career or job search if you’re not using or updating it regularly.

As with most tools we have at our disposal, we develop a bias towards those we fall into comfort with.  Some people use the pen, some use technology, and some pickup a paintbrush.  There’s nothing wrong with not using a tool, but it’s about making the most of the ones we choose to use.   Any tool can be useful if used to its full potential, and any tool can feel like a burden if we don’t buy into it–every tool may not be for everyone.

But, again, any tool will only be as beneficial as the effort you put in to using it.  Any social network will only have greater effectiveness when you get to the core of the fact that it’s a “social” network, not a sit around and wait for things to happen network.

So, if you’re still disappointed you didn’t make LinkedIn’s top % of users or viewed profiles or however many recognitions they were sending out, or you haven’t explored it yet, you can always start today and get engaged.  Check out this recent article on crafting your LinkedIn headline, start connecting with people of interest, and make the platform work for you.

You may still be anti-putting up your LinkedIn profile and prefer to network the old-fashioned way: in-person, or you may just prefer to keep things tidy in one place such as Facebook, or you utilize other social media platforms all together.  Whatever works for you is okay, as long as you’re making it work for you.  If you’re finding success in what you do, work your magic, by all means, and don’t let anyone stand in your way.

After all, there will always be new platforms and new competition for your attention.  And, while I applaud LinkedIn on its success of reaching 200 million users (no small feat, by any means), it’s still got a long way to go to keep up, let alone, stay ahead of where technology is headed.

For now, my bets are on playing the field with my social networks and never putting all my eggs in one basket.  Whether a recruiter or a job seeker, find your strategy, but also be ready to adapt.  There are a number of technologies and strategies, graph search among them that are about to ruffle the industry’s feathers over the next few years, and we’ll see in time where the big players stand among all the tools emerging in the market.

In the mean time, I’m curious to know:

Do you think LinkedIn will remain a top player and what will they have to do to continue to be relevant in the next few years?

Do you see new social platforms emerging that will have solid footing in the industry?

What platforms do you like to connect on to recruit and/or connect to find jobs?

Did you receive some LinkedIn recognition?  Share in the comments below!

While, I await your thoughts, let me know if you’re one of my secret LinkedIn stalkers that helped me make the 1% and feel free to connect.

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