Social Networking for Career Success, by Miriam Salpeter
Own your own digital real estate recently launched a new social network, called BeKnown. The network is housed as a Facebook application and aims to help people leverage their Facebook contacts for professional purposes. I wrote about BeKnown on Keppie Careers, explaining it allows Facebook/BeKnown users to:

  • Easily invite contacts from other social networks to expand their BeKnown network beyond their existing Facebook friends
  • Keep social activity with friends and family separate from work-related activity with professional contacts
  • See who among their professional contacts on BeKnown is connected to a company or job opportunity of interest
  • Connect professional networking to Monster’s job search and browse tools and import their Monster profile to BeKnown from right within the app

When the application launched, new users could link their LinkedIn profiles and also see a list of their LinkedIn friends to invite via BeKnown. I imported my LinkedIn profile to create my BeKnown profile and invited my LinkedIn contacts I thought might want to join BeKnown to connect with me there. Unfortunately, the API (how networks interact with each other) for LinkedIn failed to keep up with the BeKnown inquiries. While I was able to add my profile, my invitations never reached their recipients. My contact at Monster explained it would take a few extra days for my invites to be delivered.

Soon thereafter, TechCrunch reported on LinkedIn’s decision to cut off API access to BeKnown and others for terms of service violations. The MonsterThinking blog responded by questioning LinkedIn’s decision to cut off the applications, especially in light of the fact that the BranchOut app had been live and using the API for nearly one year. Monster wondered why, within 5 days of BeKnown’s official launch, LinkedIn decided to make its move and cut off API access.

LinkedIn’s terms of service give it reason to prevent BeKnown and other networks it cut off from using its information, but I wish these networks could work together. Ironically, I focused even more on my LinkedIn connections while working on a BeKnown profile, and spent extra time in LinkedIn as a result.
Competition is valuable and key for innovation, and I hope people who choose to use these networks have an opportunity in the future to benefit from cross-functional platforms. At the same time, job seekers who rely on sharing information via networks owned by others (LinkedIn, Monster, Branchout, Facebook, etc.) should realize they are “borrowing” space on those platforms. Each company has the right to enforce rules based on their immediate needs. That’s why I believe it is key to have personal “real estate” online in the form of a social resume, or “,” which I provide via my site:
What do you think?

photo by rosipaw

Posted on July 5, 2011 by Miriam Salpeter | Comment on this post
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