Like a few million other people, I created a profile on LinkedIn. I am not quite sure what that means in the long run (see below), but after joining the legal bloggers group, it occurred to me that it might be useful for creating an online directory for Bankruptcy lawyers in Georgia.
Thus, I have created a LinkedIn group for Georgia Bankruptcy Lawyers (click to join), or others who have a professional interest in Bankruptcy law and/or Georgia cases.
Users will have access to profiles of others in the group, and there is a sort function for finding members in a specific geographic location. It is not a tool for mass emails and "listserve" type threads that we all have probably come to dislike. As far as I know, I do not get a kickback for any fees to LinkedIn (especially since I am not a paid member), and my only fuction is to click "approve" when someone joins.
I asked above what it means in the long run. In this article, entitled Is The Party Over For Social Networking, Larry Bodine asks the question " What if you gave a party, hundreds of people showed up, but almost nobody talked to each other?"
In contrast, LinkedIn aficionado Kevin O’Keefe, president of LexBlog Inc. near Seattle, has more than 500 connections. He gets multiple invitations from others to be a part of their network daily. O’Keefe started a Legal Blogging group on LinkedIn and got 200 applications to join within two days.
"I now have a huge knowledge group that will view me as their leader," he said. "People who don’t get results from LinkedIn are the same as people who go to Rotary and complain, ‘Nobody came up to talk to me.’" O’Keefe says he has generated new business from LinkedIn. "It definitely helps me get work," he says. "And you can’t beat the price." (A basic membership is free.)