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How to Win Friends and Influence Data (err…people?) — The Network Pt. 2: LinkedIn

Your network is your strongest asset as a communications professional. Now, thanks to advancements of the programmable web, one is able to take their network from what were once closed platforms, and interact in exciting new ways for media and communications work.

The posts in this series detail our approach around the following networking tools we have picked to focus on at MaintainPR: Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Reader, Techmeme, Flowtown, Klout, WeFollow, Listorius, and PostRank Connect.

The Network Pt. 2: LinkedIn

Back in the beginning of this month, amid the Angry Bird creators getting $40 million, and a whole slew of pre-SXSW mobile social group messaging announcements, a little web business called LinkedIn took some new features live. “Signal,” and “Today,” are both a kind of layer (with the former being for search and the latter for discovery)  for getting pointed towards the right topics through the help of your network.

I find LinkedIn to be indispensable, as I’m sure most do in the PR/Communications field, and have always respected the foresight of Reid Hoffman…especially admiring his ability on the business end to actually MAKE REVENUE! — and so it prides me to say that these two tools are well worth time and investment. Both “Today” and “Signal” add real value to the existing discovery methods powering them (Twitter and StumbleUpon for now) and also allow you to see which news your network is sharing the most on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Today, which you can access here, gives you a kind of Flipboard-inspired UI view of current stories discussed and shared in your network. At the top you’ll find a timeline of the most shared across all industries. Then a little further down, you get a breakdown by industry you follow. So for me it’s: Public Relations, Internet, and Online Media. Be sure to scroll all the way down and check out more suggested industries if you’d like to expand your news filter. I found the choices the site was making based on my connections to be great. You can even set a LinkedIn Today digest email to go out to you at a variety of intervals (e.g. Daily, Weekly, Monthly).

LinkedIn Signal is a filter for Twitter. Simple as that. It displays your network’s Twitter posts, and gives you the ability to browse only relevant tweets. So why is this so great for communications professionals? Because of the degree of filtering it offers over Twitter’s own Advanced Search. Take a look at the breakdown:

As you can see from the list of filters…and the added ability in Signal to just see trending links, it’s of massive value for staying on top of your industry without drowning in the “What I ate for breakfast” posts that litter the Twitterati.

Filed under linkedin twitter pr influence networking tools socialmedia