Has a friend or colleague invited you to be LinkedIn? Over the past two years, I've been invited to link to a growing number of individuals and as a result, I've started to explore the social network. One of my very tech-savvy colleagues says he uses LinkedIn as his Rolodex.
For those who are active outside of work in leadership positions in professional associations, non-profit programs, school site councils/PTAs/coaching, and such, this can a good forum for getting recommendations and recognition. What a good way for non-profit leaders to commend their outstanding volunteers or award winners. For example, in addition to recognition of the Library's or YMCA's volunteer-of-the-year in the organization's newsletter and website, the same recognition sentence or paragraph can be copied and pasted into a LinkedIn letter of recommendation to the volunteer. Nice!
As individuals retire or lose jobs, this is a network that keeps you connected with those who you have worked with over the years. It is a treat to get a message from a former co-worker that you knew 10 or 20 years ago when you lived on the other side of the country or world.