LinkedIn Culture and Community

Culture: “the ways in which people relate to each other within a particular social context – how their values, beliefs, assumptions, worldview, and so on are manifested through everyday actions and decisions.” Bernadette Longo – Where We Work (Spilka, 2010, pg 149)

Community: “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals:”  Oxford Dictionary

There are a number of different Social Media Communities and the way that people act within those communities is the culture that they participate in. I have Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. The way I act within each of these communities is different. Facebook is more personal, I let people know about my feelings and what is going on with my family life. Twitter I am still figuring out, but use it more to find out what is happening in the world and with celebrities than with my family/friends/co-workers. LinkedIn is more professional. I connect with coworkers and other professional contacts there. The image below is a good description of where you would want to post specific items about your day depending on who you want to see and who you want to have to discuss this with.


While this does not have a very complementary view of  LinkedIn (Is it boring? LinkedIn). It does show seem to show that what people share on LinkedIn tends to be more professional. You are managing your brand on LinkedIn, you want to make sure that what is seen there is professional, and not a description of your wild Las Vegas vacation.

My LinkedIn community is comprised of coworkers and other business contacts. I am connected with a few friends and family, but for the most part it is all my business contacts. The June 2010 STC had an article about “Using LinkedIn to Get Work” This article had a section on Researching Companies that Interest You. This was related to researching companies that you may want to work for, but it could also work from a business perspective. The company could research the employees of a company they are considering doing business with. I could see this being used in my company a lot. We often times market to larger home care and EMS agencies. The could use LinkedIn to check out the resumes of the people who do currently work for us and for those that no longer do. This can give them an idea about how stable our workforce is and if there is a lot of turnover. If there is high turnover, it could imply that we are not a good company to work for and they could reconsider signing our agreement. In addition, we could do the same about companies that we may want to partner with to make our product better.

The culture of LinkedIn is unique. You connect with people and they are considered your 1st level connections. In addition, the connections of your connections are 2nd level. There is even 3rd level connections which are connected to your 2nd level connections at their 1st level (and they are not connected to you).


The question is what to do with these connections. There are a number of things to do with these connections, including looking for a new job, promote yourself and research companies.

LinkedIn is a very powerful tool that I am still learning. I did some looking before I started writing this blog and found 40 new connections. I’m sure I’ll find more, but since I am not actively looking for a new job, I have yet to see all the possibilities of this site.

Posted on November 3, 2013, in Social Media and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Hi Lisa:

    I like your cartoon — that’s how I felt before this week’s readings, but I actually think I understand a little better now.

    You said you looked around and found 40 new connections. So, did you “invite” them? Were these mostly old aquaintances or newer people that you met? I’m going to try to get all updated over the break, so I am curious to see how your experience goes.

    I love the SM flow chart, especially the one that ends up “don’t do it”!

    • I did invite those to connect and only about 6 have accepted. These were mostly current coworkers and a few other business connections. I haven’t logged in since to see what new connections they have brought me.

      Sometimes I think all of the flow chart should end up with Don’t Do It.

  2. You’ve given me a much better idea of what LinkedIn is, and I can tell that is probably wouldn’t do me very much good right now. I can see how it would be very useful for someone who owned a small business or who worked freelance because it would help them make valuable business connections.
    I currently work for an insurance company, where everything I work on is protected and proprietary. I don’t make new connections with anyone to add new business, because we maintain our business partner’s inventory within the company. When I start thinking about moving on and looking for a new job, I will have to give LinkedIn a more serious look.

  3. LOVE your images, especially the chart. I’m going to show a copy to some of my coworkers who are also trying to figure out this whole social media thing.

    I’ve actually been spending a lot more time on LinkedIn lately. Not to look for a new job or anything, but I am finding that it is a great way for me to learn more about my clients’ and coworkers’ professional interests (what organizations and groups they belong to). Or, I can join groups myself to get email updates sent to me regarding industry news or tips to help me work smarter. For example, I joined a Drug Watch group that lets me know about new pharmaceuticals being released in the market.

  4. I too have a Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn account and I agree I use them all in different ways. Facebook and Twitter are more casual, but I look to Twitter for quick updates from the people/things I follow and Facebook to be more of a connection with my friends. LinkedIn is more of a professional environment. I tend to be a fly on the wall, which I know isn’t the way you’re supposed to use LinkedIn. I add fresh connections, but don’t post any articles or ask for recommendations often. I do think these things are powerful though. Similar to how we trust word of mouth for what products to purchase, I think employers trust word of mouth for the recommendations that people have left for you. Even if you’re not looking for a job, LinkedIn can be helpful to get industry updates.

  5. Like your peers, I appreciate these images! I say make them larger in your post to show them off. 🙂

    Your final statement says it all: I’m not sure how someone NOT on the job market benefits from the site, other from the links to articles or presentations they might share. Could it be a place to keep connections in place rather than in the more social space of Facebook?

    I know we recommend our undergraduates create LinkedIn profiles and “connect” with us, so we can introduce them to people in our network. Ideally this will help them obtain access to information about internships or job openings in our field.

    But again, unless you’re working with a group of interns that you might want to help along the way once they leave your company, it remains a site that could be defined as a placeholder more than one actively used.

  6. I have been spending a lot of time on LinkedIn lately as I am getting ready for a job search. Something came to mind the other night that I had not thought of before. If you make a connection with a possible employer, they will see your picture (your profile will not be taken seriously without one!) and potentially find out about your personal life if you post even a little bit of that kind of information. That goes against all hiring rules when it comes to potential discrimination. I was also surprised to read in an article intended for recruiters that they can sort their searches by sex and race (in the pricey professional version). They were mentioning it as a tool to increase diversity but I can see how that would be used for the wrong reasons as well. On the other side, i just read an article that might make me go and delete a few connections. Potential employers are looking to see who you are connected to in order to determine if you truly bring added value to their company (networking, potential new clients, etc).

    I think LinkedIn would actually be more active (like other social media) if they would loosen up some of the communication options. Right now you can only send an inbox message 5 times with the free account. You have to upgrade to the paid versions to do most anything outside of reading profiles and posting. I will probably bite the bullet and upgrade to the cheapest paid account for a few months when I start searching more seriously Right now I just watch and read!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.