LinkedIn launches Answers

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LinkedIn has launched its new Answers service, which allows LinkedIn users to both ask questions and answer them. The service is very similar to Yahoo Answers except for the fact that it only covers a small niche whereas Yahoo Answers covers topics for anything. This actually gives them an advantage because they aren’t in competition with other questions & answers sites.
I am really impressed with LinkedIn Answers and think the service is a great fit for their site and is also beneficial to the LinkedIn community. Even though Google recently threw in the towel for its answers service I really think LinkedIn Answers is going to be hot, it seems to really make sense.
I like how you have give you the ability to choose to see answers from your network or the everyone on LinkedIn. I also think this will give people another great channel where they can establish themselves as experts in their industry, in a place where that might actually mean something too.
Not every niche can throw up a Q&A feature and be successful, but if you run a social community it might be worth looking into. I do think it can be a useful feature for most niches, although how much does it really differ from a traditional forum?
One thing I am curious about though is, will LinkedIn Answers be sticky enough to keep people on the site longer? LinkedIn isn’t a site where people generally hang around, like MySpace for example. You basically just log in and connect with people you just met, but that’s about it, nothing else to really keep people engaged. Maybe this is a feature that will give them a step in the right direction for making the site more social and sticky.
Coincidently, Guy Kawasaki just posted 10 ways to use LinkedIn, a great list for anyone looking to maximize the value they can obtain from LinkedIn.
[via: Search Engine Land]

Cameron Olthuis

Cameron Olthuis

Cameron Olthuis

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  • Since LinkedIn targets business users, this is a great example of how B2B companies can use social media. How do you think B2B companies can take advantage of this as a marketing tool?

  • Jon, I’m not quite sure yet. I haven’t spent enough time with it but participating seems like a good idea. I would recommend answering every question you possibly can that’s related to what your business does. Don’t shamelessly plug your business though, only where it makes absolute sense to do so. I see this more as a branding tool for individuals though and not businesses.
    Does anyone else have any suggestions?

  • Oh for sure this will be one to watch. I bet some folks are going to use this to great advantage, most likely in a whole variety of different ways. Much different to the spammy myspace marketing we all know and love 😉

  • Looking for a LinkedIn, MyBlogLog mashup. Now that would be great! LinkedIn has a great search tool to find people by name or industry. Like anythng you have to stay involved and keep in contact with your connections.