Mario Sundar

LinkedIn's 2nd PR hire; I led their social media efforts from 2007 past their IPO. These are my thoughts on tomorrow's social products, today.

Previously on LinkedIn: An Infographic, Jobs Alert and a New High

Each week, as Sr. Social Media Manager at LinkedIn, I obsessively track the latest news and tidbits on LinkedIn. I’ve also begun curating the week’s must-read LinkedIn updates on this blog series, so you don’t have to. Here’s LinkedIn snippets from just the past three days.

Ask me questions or @mariosundar me on Twitter

1. INFOGRAPHIC: How do LinkedIn users use LinkedIn? on Mashable

Who isn’t a sucker for cool looking charts and graphs. Mashable published an unofficial LinkedIn infographic providing a quick snapshot of what LinkedIn users really do on LinkedIn. No major surprises here. Just a pretty lil’ chart.

2. Keep track of your LinkedIn connections’ job movements via TechCrunch

Have you ever wanted to keep track of when your LinkedIn connections change jobs? If you’re on LinkedIn every day (like me) your network updates will show when your connections’ job updates change (provided they’ve allowed that in their settings). But, if you’d rather just receive an email notification, this new service is for you.

Job Change Notifier by Roger Lee

Note: You can either set it up for all your connections or just for select ones. Given that your connections are not gonna keep changing jobs often, I’ve just set it up for all. Will keep you posted how that works out.

3. What’s the 2nd biggest social networking site in the USA? via TechCrunch

Quite the way to wrap-up the week, with the latest Comscore #s that placed LinkedIn as the 2nd most visited social networking site in the US, in June, with 33.9M unique visitors. Here’s another neat little chart that shows the upward trajectory. On that note, have a great weekend and see you on this blog tomorrow.


Filed under: LinkedIn in the News

Top 10 Corporate Blogs: 2011 Edition

As someone who has studiously put together the top 10 business blog listings since 2006 (here’s the first such post that garnered over 120 comments — long standing record on this blog), I was glad to see another post posing the question “Are these the 10 best corporate blogs in the world?” via Ragan.

Written by Mark Schaefer, who recently taught a class on corporate blogging at Rutgers, the post covers interesting blogs that are not too promotional nor technology focused and I’m glad he did put together this list, cos one of these blogs even crept into our top 10 listings. Read on.

Couple of quick thoughts before I present to you the latest ranking of the most popular corporate blogs on the planet (methodology for the ranking is given below). The reason I started tracking these rankings was to identify the corporate blogs that stand the test of time within certain commonly agreed upon criteria. What’s interesting is that the top 10 blogs have pretty much stayed the same over time with the inclusion of some fast growing blogs (like Mint and this week’s new entrant – Whole Foods).

Without further ado, I give you the current state of the corporate blogosphere and the Top 10 corporate blogs ranked by Technorati [Disclosure: I run LinkedIn's corporate blog, since 2007, which has been a Top 10 blog].

Top 10 Corporate Blogs in 2011 (per Technorati Authority)

General Motors, Monster, Dell and Digg have fallen off the Top 15 list. In particular, I’m surprised by Dell’s fall since I bet it has something to do with their restructured domain space (Yahoo! had the same problem), cos I know how well managed they both are. The ones in red are the blogs that are going down in the rankings and the green ones are either new entrants or the ones that are rising (some, fast) in popularity – for e.g. Delta and Whole Foods.

Note: Click through the above brand names to get to their corporate blog and feel free to bookmark them or subscribe to their posts on your favorite RSS reader.


Methodology:
I’m using the New PR Wiki (Corporate blog listings) and Technorati authority to help navigate the corporate blogosphere terrain. This term made most sense to rank corporate blogs for 2 reasons.

1. Popularity

“It is the # of blogs linking to a website in the last 6 months. The higher the number, the more authority the blog has”.

Not only does that give a clear indication of the popularity, it also provides context for this rank in the past 6 months. You’ll be surprised at the number of dead blogs in the list, since the last ranking.

2. It’s the number of blogs vs. number of links that’s being measured

It is important to note that we measure the number of blogs, rather than the number of links. So, if a blog links to your blog many times, it still only count as +1 toward your authority. Of course, new links mean the +1 will last another 180 days

Also, if you find any corporate blog (official) that find themselves in the middle of the above rankings, please let me know by leaving a comment.

Given my experience, both starting and running a corporate blog, I’ll continue investigating best practices and sharing them here. If you’re interested in learning more, please consider subscribing to this blog.

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Filed under: Business Blogging

Previously on LinkedIn: Inspiration, Flipboard and Groups

Each week, as Sr. Social Media Manager at LinkedIn, I get to share breaking LinkedIn news with the rest of the world and fellow bloggers (many of them product related). This weekly series covers the LinkedIn stuff that you may have missed — with a little context into why it matters and to whom.

Ask me questions or @mariosundar me on Twitter

Here’s this past week’s news announcements that mattered most:

1. LinkedIn, meet Flipboard by Liz Reaves Walker



Who should care?
Any professional. Consider this a real-world water-cooler conversation with folks who are of mutual importance to your career (assuming you’re connected to them). And, if you’ve an iPad then this app is a no-brainer. I, so badly, want an iPad now. I know, a lot of people find it funny that I don’t have one yet. cc: @adamnash

BTW, if you’d like to see a video demo, I’d recommend the TechCrunch interview with Mike McCue.

2. Using LinkedIn Groups API to create an events water cooler by Madhu Gupta

Who should care? This is such a no-brainer for event organizers. Madhu also shares a recent implementation from Microsoft on their Partner event website. The integration is pretty slick. As you can see — you can flip through the top groups threads even without being signed in.

If you’d like to perform simple gestures (“Like” or “Follow” the conversation), you’d need to be signed in on the website where this is embedded.

And, if you’d like to actually participate in the group all you’ve to do is click through to the specific LinkedIn group page. And, you guys know how that works.

The group itself is a great way for conference attendees to introduce themselves, share questions they have that’s worth a separate group thread and say Hi to folks they didn’t get a chance to interact at the conference room floor or at the sessions. This was my experience on Social Media Examiner’s LinkedIn Group (private group – requires sign in), as I discovered when I spoke at their webcast recently.

I used the LinkedIn group to collate ideas and feedback on my presentation and was able to tailor it better to the audience’s needs. It’s also a great way to follow up with your audience once you’re done. Now imagine, the power of that conversation embedded on your website drawing more participation before and after the event. I just realized as I blog this, that this topic deserves a whole new post.

3. Finding inspiration and support at work by Jill Levine

Given that we spend much of lives at work, it’s important that we get to work not only with the brightest minds, but with genuinely nice folks. It’s a joy to work with such folks at LinkedIn (more on that here), but this week’s story on our blog was an inspirational one about our colleague from New York, Jill Levine.

I’ll let Jill share the story herself.


Speaking of great colleagues, just thought it was worth mentioning that Adam, Jim and I are currently on a #blogfitness program.

We’ve each taken up the challenge to blog, a post a day. You can read the specifics on Jim’s post here (click through just for the video of Jim doing burpees – priceless!). And, Adam, well he’s started off strong with a post on Quicken solution for OS X Lion. And, Adam’s famous T-shirts post just got picked up on TechCrunch yesterday. Nicely done.

Game on!

If you’d like to support or taunt us about missing a blog day, feel free to tweet us @mariosundar, @adamnash and @brikis98.

And, if you’re a blogger suffering from blogger’s block. You too can join us in our 30-day #blogfitness diet. Leave a comment.

Filed under: Latest at LinkedIn, Linkedin, LinkedIn Features, LinkedIn in the News, ,

The Return of Friendfeed (as Google+)

I recently shared my thoughts on Google+ (Google’s recent foray into social networking — let me know if you need an invite — after the public failure of Google Wave and Buzz). They’ve got to get it right this time (and frankly I think they nailed some of the subtleties that they didn’t in their past avatars). That said, there’s just something about Google+ that doesn’t seem right and — that’s got to do with its relationship model.

Check out the rest of my thoughts on Google+ on Quora

Google Plus is a curious amalgam of Facebook and Twitter but more interestingly this is the same model that Friendfeed pioneered (with far slicker tools: “like” and “real-time feed” anyone).

Google+ is basically the 2nd coming of Friendfeed and therein lies the rub…

Information networks vs. social networks

Why is that a problem you ask. Let me first explain the two different types of social networking models. Traditional social networks (like Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) have a symmetric connection model — mutual connections mark the relationship. Twitter on the other hand (an information network if you will), followed the subscription model where you follow users (much like Ev and Biz’s first hit – Blogger.com, which Google later bought). To the best of my knowledge, here’s the best description of the two models — hat tip to Joshua Porter (Bokardo), who did a terrific piece explaining these two social networking models. Highly recommended reading.

[Update]: Ben Parr just tweeted with his more recent piece, on Information networks. Here it is. Extrapolating, it’s basically any community that’s based on the information ties that you have (Twitter, Quora is a great example / follower model) vs. ones that are predicated on social ties (Facebook, LinkedIn / mutual connections).

Now, Friendfeed (later bought by Facebook – oh, what an intricate social web we weave), came out with a hybrid model which allows you to have both friends (subscribers) and followers. Oddly enough followers could pop up into your conversations as well. So, rather than being the best of both worlds, what you end up with is the worst of both worlds. Initially, there’s an incentive to build your REAL social network (a la Facebook) that Google+ is trying to foster with Circles, but at the same time they pollute that atmosphere with the follower model, where people you don’t know jump in with comments that you don’t feel like responding to.

That was the problem Friendfeed faced and that’ll be the problem that Google+ will inevitably encounter.

Secondly, Circles or Friend-lists are not scalable (though Google+ has perfected the art of persistent engagement to get users to bucket them – nicely done). What this means is that Google+ will gravitate toward the asymmetric or hybrid model (as it already has, wherein your stream will be sprinkled with random comments from people you don’t know).

What’s Google+’s future?

As I said in my Quora post, Facebook has nothing to fear from Google+. They both operate under completely different models. While Facebook is focused on building real relationships and has assiduously built an environment that reminds me of “Cheers” (see below), Google+ is slowly morphing into Friendfeed.

At the end of the day, I just wanted to be someplace…

…where everybody knows your name,
and they’re always glad you came.

you wanna be where everybody knows
your name.
That is Home. That is Facebook. (For me)

Now, granted the asymmetric model gains traction and followers fast, the question remains: is it sustainable? Time will tell. I won’t bet against Google given their enormous muscle and their ability to weave Plus into every Google interaction you have. But, I don’t think in its current state, Google+ will draw me away from my real home on Facebook.

What are your initial impressions of Google+? Leave a comment or @mariosundar.

Check out the rest of my thoughts on Google+ on Quora

Filed under: Google+, , ,

What’s it like to work at LinkedIn?

I get that question some times and I felt Mashable recently did a great job summarizing what it is to work at LinkedIn. Check out similar posts they’ve done in the past for other companies. I was happy to share my thoughts on LinkedIn (where I’ve worked for ~4.5 years now) and glad that Erica Swallow chose to quote me in it. Thanks!

Good Times: That's me, Richard and Krista (Marketing / PR team) at LinkedIn's 5th bday party!

Back to the Mashable snippet:

Here’s what Mario Sundar, LinkedIn’s senior social media manager and chief blogger, told Mashable about the monthly shindig:

“One of the elemental pieces of our culture is the monthly inDay where folks from across the company are given a ‘No Meeting Day,’ to focus on projects they are most passionate about. This ranges from the very productive Hackday (started by Adam Nash) to the TED-like Speaker Series where we bring in transformative professionals ranging from MLK III to Suze Orman to speak. Education is an oft-repeated theme as we get to hear from the game changers in that space like Sal Khan (Khan Academy), Charles Best (DonorsChoose.org), etc. Many times these events lead to our colleagues contributing towards some of these worthy causes. For example, one of our engineers, Alejandro Crosa, built DonorsChoose.org’s first iPhone app after listening to Charles Best, the CEO, speak at an inDay where Charles announced their internal hackday contest.”

“Frankly, I think projects like inDay actually translate well across different cultures, languages, etc. and get teams working toward a common cause outside of the daily work environment. This lends to a more collaborative environment when it comes to work as well.”

While we’re on the topic of InDay and culture, I’d urge you to check out a video tour that Jeremiah filmed 4 years ago, at LinkedIn’s Lunch 2.0 — right after we moved from Palo Alto to our Mountain View offices.

Check out a 5 minute video tour of LinkedIn’s offices 4 years ago

If you’d like to work at LinkedIn, stumbled upon a role that you think you’d be great for, ping me and I’m happy to chat.

Drop me a note @mariosundar.

Filed under: About Mario Sundar, Latest at LinkedIn, LinkedIn Colleagues,

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