Posts Tagged ‘IPO’

What Now After LinkedIn IPO?

May 30, 2011

Is LinkedIn sexy now?  While there is no question that LinkedIn had been popular, it has never been the media darling that Twitter and Facebook have become.  However, with a very successful IPO under its belt, it might never need to be sexy just the glue that holds together the professional world. Because it focuses on all things professional, it has a much narrower range than the other two social media giants.  However, that work to its benefit as its grabbing critical information about how people interact as professionals.  That can be monetized without a doubt.

What About Lawyers?

As I’ve mentioned before, I’d like to see LinkedIn become more sensitive to needs of particular professionals and how they represent themselves.  Now that they have serious cash, its time for them to connect with the ABA and make sure that they conform to the model rules of professional responsibility in how they structure their profiles.  Three quick fixes would go a long way:

  • Allow attorneys to edit “specialties” and turn it into “Focus Areas” or the like
  • Allow contacts to be shared at the contact level rather than globally
  • Allow attorneys to easily insert footnotes for disclaimers on recommendations, answers to questions and even the profiles generally.

LinkedIn IPO – What about a Niche Focus?

January 28, 2011

Here is a copy of the S-1 filing for LinkedIn’s IPO filing.  While the media is focused on what this means to the viability of social networking IPOs in general, I’d like to focus more on a direction I’d like to see LinkedIn take post IPO.  In the S-1, LinkedIn promotes itself because of its “Exclusive Focus on Professionals” but they haven’t done a good job tailoring their profiles to specific types of professionals.

Attorney Example

Increasingly, LinkedIn profiles are problematic for attorneys because of ethics concerns in how they display and reveal information.  Here are three specific areas of concern:

  • Use of “Specialties” to describe a professional’s expertise: Many State Bar associations restrict the use of “specialties” by attorneys who haven’t been legally certified for their practice expertise by the state bar association where they practice.  For lawyers, this portion of their LinkedIn profile could be re-labeled and include something like, “focus area.”
  • Revealing Contacts: LinkedIn allows only two choices for professionals in this regard – either show all your contacts or none of them. Many lawyers may have clients listed as connections and have to make their setting private because of confidentiality concerns.  If LinkedIn allowed you to designate which contacts lawyers would like public and which should be private, this would make lawyers more comfortable with the service.
  • Recommendations: Again, many state bar associations require attorneys to place disclaimers on any testimonials on their behalf but this is difficult to do on LinkedIn because attorneys don’t control the form or format of the recommendation form that recommenders use.  A special field could be built into profiles allowing for disclaimer language to be included.

Not just Attorneys

Many professions have extensive rules about how their members present themselves to the public.  While the labeling may differ, the ethical concerns are pretty similar across professions.  If LinkedIn wants to be known as the “professionals” social networking website, then it should start examining ways it can make various professions feel more comfortable.