Connecting to people with LinkedIn.



The concept of six degrees of separationsays that anyone in the world is only six “friend of a friend” steps away from you. That means you can connect to any of the world’s 660 billion people by getting a maximum of five introductions.

I can believe it’s possible. I know that I’m only three degrees (a friend of a friend of a friend) from about 6.5 million people on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn(http://www.linkedin.com) is a social networking site like FacebookorMySpace, but focused on business relationships. I haven’t seen a lot of drunken party pictures on a LinkedIn profile.

Recently a friend asked me why they should join LinkedIn, much less spend any time using it. The answer is the same reason you attend a Chamber of Commerce meeting, to grow your network of people who know you so you can expand your business. But LinkedIn can let you meet new people worldwide!

For instance, I have a friend Tania who works for a software company in Singapore. She’s in my first level network. I was somewhat surprised when I saw she just connected to a Gregg Marshall (Gregg is not a common spelling), and it wasn’t me. So I asked for an introduction, which Tania did. I now know another Gregg Marshall on the other side of the world (and the owner of greggmarshall.com before I got it).

That introduction could have just as easily been to the CEO of a European company I want to meet to pitch a business idea. Or an engineer at a company in China that wrote an article on a subject I’m interested in.

Another handy feature is the ability to ask a question of the entire community, or to help someone by answering their question. So when I was thinking of changing domain registrars, I got a number of suggestions and reviews.

You can also join groups of people with similar interests, or similar backgrounds like Phi Beta Kappa, allowing you to discuss topics with the group, or introduce yourself just like you would if that group were having a meeting.

Being able to expand your network is acknowledged as one of the ways to get hired, get more business, become “famous.” LinkedIn is a way to use the power of the Internet to leverage networking on a worldwide basis.

If you haven’t signed up for LinkedIn, I encourage you to do it now! You can see my profile athttp://www.linkedin.com/in/greggmarshall. If you want to connect to me, just send an invitation using the email address below.

See you soon on LinkedIn!