LinkedIn has always been "the next big thing." While Facebook and Twitter have been focused on being mostly-unfocused, LinkedIn has been quietly building a network that is all about the enterprise of the enterprise. Employers need employees as much as employees need employers. With discussion groups, profiles, endorsements, company pages, recommendations, premium account services, and university pages, LinkedIn is a not-so-subtle social media behemoth.
If you're still receiving emails (and let's be honest, we all are), you have definitely received a plethora of messages from LinkedIn. One of the messages that slipped into my inbox back in May invited me to "make the University of Northern Iowa shine!" It was brilliant maneuver from LinkedIn. As a graduate of UNI, I have an opinion about the institution. Anyone who is checking out UNI's university page on LinkedIn has the opportunity to peruse a multitude of recommendations from graduates.
In the competitive atmosphere that is higher education, LinkedIn has provided a pseudo-non-biased space for legacy-building. It's amazing to read recommendations about a university from people who earned their degrees from decades past. Recommendations on LinkedIn for individuals are pretty much the same as traditional letters of recommendations. Recommendations for institutions from scores of alumni are immeasurably valuable. LinkedIn continues to cement their importance as a platform that isn't an option. Individuals and institutions are using LinkedIn for a variety of transactions that are not present on any other social media site. LinkedIn's recommendations are influential and important and I can't wait for the next iteration of the site.
Last but not least, kudos to LinkedIn for hiring one of the brightest accessibility experts in North America to assist with the overall accessibility of the platform. Sure, the hire happened a while ago, but I'm a fan of sharing kudos regardless of timing. Congratulations, Jennison Asuncion!
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